SUP-422: Introduction to the Development and Implementation of Education Policy

Semester: Fall

Credit: 1.0

Syllabus: Click here for syllabus

Faculty: Saeyun Lee


Day Time Location
First Day 9/5
Meet Day Th 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM GSE LSNHL G08


The public education landscape in the United States is changing and evolving, but debates about the development and implementation of education policy and their impact on students and families are anchored by the same questions that policymakers and key stakeholders have grappled with for decades. What is the purpose of schooling? How should educational opportunities be provided to our children and youth, and by which entities? How can we provide educational opportunities to an increasingly diverse student population, and what measures should be taken to close persistent achievement and attainment gaps? If there is agreement that the necessity of providing high-quality educational opportunities cannot be denied given the far-reaching implications for the health and welfare of our citizens, our economy, and our democracy, what type of public education system do we need to achieve our goals? In this course, students will have the opportunity to discuss these questions through the exploration of key themes related to education policy in the United States, including the following: (1) the necessary conditions for the development, successful implementation, and sustainability of education policy, including building the right policy architecture and increasing capacity at multiple levels of our public education system; (2) creating policy coherence from birth through postsecondary education; (3) systemic policies and policies differentiated by population, geography, and other factors; (4) the influence of political factors and dynamics; (5) locus of control within the context of a decentralized public education system in the United States; and (6) the importance of stakeholder engagement. Students will examine specific federal and state policy issues and topics, including among others the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act; Race to the Top and Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge initiatives; strategies to close persistent achievement and attainment gaps that disproportionately affect specific groups of students; initiatives to continually enhance educator effectiveness; the Common Core State Standards and state consortia to create new student assessments; school choice; and efforts to increase college and career readiness. This course is strongly recommended for students in the Education Policy and Management program; students in other programs at the Harvard Graduate School of Education as well as other graduate programs at Harvard University are welcome to enroll as well. This course will increase students’ understanding of the factors, conditions, and dynamics that influence the development and implementation of education policy and enhance their ability to conduct nuanced analyses of policy issues as well as develop targeted and valuable policy recommendations.

Also offered by the Graduate School of Education as A-100.

Please note - The shopping sessions for this course will take place on Tuesday, August 27 at 4:30 - 5:10 and also 5:15 - 5:50 in Larsen 106 (GSE).