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Welcome to Education Policy & Social Analysis
Dear Current and Prospective Students, Faculty, and Alumni,
Around the world, people count on education to help solve our most pressing social problems. The Department of Education Policy and Social Analysis (EPSA) at Teachers College unites faculty, graduate students, researchers, and other staff who study the education policies created by governments. EPSA draws on the tools of the disciplines of economics, political science, and sociology, and on legal reasoning, to study education policies ranging from early childhood to postsecondary education. Collectively, we hope that the study of where policies come from, how they are implemented, and what effects they have can lead to a more just society.
EPSA houses four academic programs—Economics and Education; Politics and Education; Sociology and Education; and the interdisciplinary Education Policy program—offering programs of study leading to master’s and doctoral degrees. Our graduates are prepared to work side-by-side with policymakers, practitioners, and the public in federal, state and local education agencies; in foundations, think tanks, and non-profit research and advocacy organizations; and in schools, colleges, and non-governmental organizations serving children, youth, and adults.
If you are already part of the EPSA community, we hope you will stay in touch. And if you are thinking of joining us, please reach out with a question or a comment. We’ll be happy to respond.
Aaron M. Pallas
Arthur I. Gates Professor of Sociology and Education
Chair, Department of Education Policy and Social Analysis
EPSA, launched in 2011, in response to faculty and student desires for a more comprehensive approach to studying education issues and policies, brought together existing programs in Economics & Education, Politics & Education, Sociology and Education, and sparked the creation of a new interdisciplinary program in Education Policy.
We focus on how governments, markets, and societal conditions shape schooling and the broader enterprise of creating a population that is informed about the challenges and opportunities it confronts, able to critically analyze its needs and interests, and prepared to work together to make a better world.
A panel of state and national leaders and EPSA faculty discuss proposals to ensure comprehensive educational services, like early education, expanded learning time, health services, and family support, for all students from poverty backgrounds at a conference convened by the Campaign for Educational Equity, an EPSA affiliate, in October 2011.
The Federal Policy Institute examines historical and current debates over federal educational policy-making through a week-long institute in Washington, D.C. linked with follow-up sessions at Teachers College. Understanding the realities of federal policy construction and implementation is essential both for educational leaders and all who hope to improve the nature of American education. Students are able to combine policy theory and experience with individuals who make and influence federal educational policy.
Covering Hot Policy Issues
EPSA closed out the Fall 2013 semester with a panel discussion of the contemporary backlash against testing in the U.S. Panelists included EPSA faculty members considering its various roots and projecting its possible consequences. Pictured here: TC President Susan Fuhrman; EPSA Profs. Henig, Kagan, and Dougherty; Jal Mehta, from Harvard, and Rick Hess, from the American Enterprise Institute.