Politics and Education

Welcome to the Politics & Education program

The Politics and Education program prepares students for careers as education policy leaders at the local, state and national levels, or to pursue advanced work in doctoral programs in education policy, political science, or public policy. Graduates of this program secure positions as policy advisors and researchers for government agencies, foundations and various private agencies committed to looking at and developing policies for the field of education.

Schools represent a powerful instrument for shaping the development of future generations of citizens and workers as well as an important source of jobs and investment in many communities. Coursework focuses on how societies handle conflicting visions of what schools should and should not be doing, and what specific changes in political and governance processes might facilitate better decision-making and policy implementation.

Politics and Education Program Open House Webinar

Premiered on Thursday, November 5. If you would like to get the transcript of the POLC open hourse webinar 2021, please contact David Estrella at dpe2103@tc.columbia.edu at Admissions. 

Choose Your Degree

M.A. in Politics & Education

The 33-credit M.A. program includes coursework in political science and general foundation courses in education in addition to study in qualitative and quantitative research methods. Students choose a concentration to focus on a set of political debates in education or a particular political arena in consultation with an assigned advisor.

Ed.M. in Politics & Education

The 60-credit Ed.M. program includes advanced coursework in political science and general foundation courses in education in addition to study in qualitative and quantitative research methods. Students choose a concentration to focus on a set of political debates in education or a particular political arena in consultation with an assigned advisor.

Ph.D. in Politics & Education

The 75-credit Ph.D. program prepares students to conduct original and rigorous research relating to education policy and the political conditions that facilitate its adoption, implementation, and sustainability. Graduates of this program secure positions as professors within political science, public policy, and education departments at various types of four year institutions; as researchers in think tanks and private research organizations; and in government agencies with research and policy missions.

Congratulations Graduates 2021!

Student & Alumni Profiles

Ph.D. 2020
Melissa Arnold Lyon is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Annenberg Institute at Brown University and a Senior Research Scientist at the Consortium for Policy Research in Education at Teachers College, Columbia University

Melissa studies how institutions and organized interests shape the political economy of education with a particular focus on inequality, federalism, and teacher politics and policy. She has published on topics including teachers' unions, teacher candidates for elected office, philanthropies, education governance, and local politics of education. Her current research focuses on teacher unionization and labor markets. 

Melissa received her PhD in Politics & Education in 2020. Before pursuing her doctorate, she taught middle school in Houston, TX. Find more information about Melissa at melissa-lyon.com
Raven DeRamus-Byers
M.A. student

Raven DeRamus-Byers, a Gadsden, Alabama native, graduated from Princeton University in 2016 with a degree in English, concentrating in African-American Studies and Teacher Preparation. She taught public high school English in Auburn, Alabama and Gadsden, Alabama before relocating to New York with her husband and daughter to begin her Master’s degree in Politics and Education at Teachers College, Columbia. Raven is currently interested in Black teacher retention rates in public schools. She currently works as a Zankel fellow and a consultant at the Teachers College Graduate Writing Center. She is a proud member of the Lambda Eta Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.

Michelle Burris
M.A. 2019

Senior Policy Associate, The Century Foundation, Washington, D.C.

Michelle Burris graduated with the M.A. degree in Politics and Education from Teachers College, Columbia University this past May. Her research interests were culturally responsive pedagogies and school discipline policies. While in college, she was also a research associate for Teachers College Government Relations Office.

Michelle was also a Zankel Fellow at Truman High School in the Bronx. She worked with African immigrant students and facilitated conversations on racial justice, human rights, and political agency. Prior to attending TC, Michelle served in the U.S. Peace Corps in Rwanda where she taught English and created a curriculum on racial diversity and social justice. 

Michelle has a deep connection to national and international service. She also worked at AmeriCorps in the general counsel's office and for the National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC). 

Currently, Michelle works directly with Richard Kahlenberg and Halley Potter at The Century Foundation. She researches and writes publications on racial and socioeconomic integration in schools and housing policy. Michelle received her B.A. in Political Science from Spelman College and has hopes of pursuing a career in public service and community engagement. 

TC News featured Michelle's profile in an article in May 2019. Read about her and her future plans HERE.

On November 19, 2019, Elevate Maryland invited three people to their podcast "Equity in Education," on a redistricting proposal that seeks to integrate socioeconomically.

The eyes of the nation have been on Howard County as it grapples with a simple, yet undefined, concept - equity in education.  While most jurisdictions redistrict their schools solely to redistribute capacity, Howard County considered a plan that would also balance poverty and wealth in one of the wealthiest jurisdictions in the country. They invited to their discussion Michelle Burris, who represented The Century Foundations, New York Times Magazine journalist Dana Goldstein, and Wilde Lake High School Student Alisa Drake.





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