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Teachers College, Columbia University
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A Dose of Realpolitik

How to argue for increased education funding at a time when society seems more focused on Medicare, terrorism, the environment and other issues? That was the question posed to a group of 30-odd students from the Teachers College Federal Policy Institute (FPI) one afternoon this past January by the Executive Director of the Committee of Education.

"I have always felt that the role of an academic institution is to provide an array of issues and give students all the tools necessary to analyze them," says Professor Sharon Lynn Kagan, who teaches FPI. "The Federal Policy Institute lets our students test what they've learned in their readings against the reality of what they see in Washington."

"Education is about understanding multiple perspectives, and educators have a responsibility to present that kind of breadth," she says. "I've tried to embed that outlook in my teaching and in the FPI experience."

This article appeared in February 23rd, 2006 publication of Inside TC.

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