The mission of The Department of Education Policy and Social Analysis is to engage in cutting-edge research and teaching to address critical problems affecting education and to contribute to informed analysis and action to promote educational achievement and equity.
EPSA starts out with a broad and inclusive view of the kinds of issues that its faculty and students might consider important to address. Explicitly, we are interested in both formal institutions of schooling and the political, bureaucratic, organizational, economic, and social factors that profoundly affect both schools and the broader educational enterprise. We are interested in the role that families, communities, and civil society can play in promoting education outside the school building walls. We have a special interest and capability in addressing issues from pre-K through higher education, in identifying ways in which laws and institutions affect education, and in understanding the growing role of private for-profit and nonprofit organizations in delivering education technologies and services. Issues relating to racial and socioeconomic equity are central to the research and teaching interests of many of our faculty members and students.
Students in this department will develop general skills of policy research and analysis, along with general perspectives on policy development and implementation that are widely applicable to other domains of public policy. We do hope to link education policy with other social issues and domains such as health policy. Social analysis grounded in disciplinary studies in sociology, political science, and economics should inform applied policy studies and vice versa.