This course will explore the role of the courts in dealing with issues of equity and education beginning with Brown v. Board of Education. Topics will include school desegregation, gender equity, fiscal equity and educational adequacy, rights of English Learners and of students with disabilities, testing, and school discipline. The course will consider the role of the courts in educational policy-making and the impact of judicial intervention on school culture and educational practices. We will also analyze the meaning of “equal educational opportunity,” and "equity" in the contemporary context and confront such questions as: how deeply rooted are racism and inequity in school systems, to what extent can racism and inequities be eliminated or ameliorated in school systems if they persist in society at large, and to what extent can anti-racist curricula make a difference within systems that are structurally inequitable??
This course is designed to introduce students to the theory and practice of exercising leadership in the public sector. Research literature and essential writings of great thinkers complement a practice-based, real-life orientation to the challenges and opportunities associated with leading communities through complex and persistent problems. Course readings will be examined in light of practical challenges education leaders face every day; conversely, we will discuss the ways in which research sheds light and offers perspective to those who lead complex organizations, such as schools and districts, in public settings. The course will consider leadership from a multi-disciplinary perspective, including readings and videos from the social sciences, literature, business, history, politics, and contemporary commentary. Class discussions, case studies, guest speakers and small group work combine to invite students to recognize and develop the personal, professional, intellectual and political attributes that women and men need to address the most pressing issues in education, government, community life and society at large.
In this course, students document their academic and professional growth and development through the creation of a research portfolio focused on urban education leadership that serves as the basis for ongoing feedback, guidance, and support for their dissertation research.
This seminar course is topical and brings in guest speakers, exemplary practitioners, researchers and policy makers from academia, public schools and school districts, charter schools and education management organizations, private and independent schools, business, and other organizations to share their experience, research, and insights about effective leadership practices. The central theme of the Pro-Seminar is the development of personal self-awareness and mastery, as well as professional effectiveness. Students will be introduced to a variety of tools, assessment instruments, and other resources that are useful for personal reflection and professional growth. The seminar is customized for students preparing for leadership at different levels and in different contexts, for example aspiring public school principals, independent school heads, or district level leaders.
A 450-hour supervised field experience in school district leadership. Partially satisfies New York State requirement for School District Leaders certificate. Permission required.
Through this course, students will learn to personally reflect upon and critically examine the larger social, economic, and political contexts in which schools, districts, and colleges and universities operate. This course will also investigate the ways in which issues of race, immigrant status, social class and gender shape the experiences of practicing leaders and researchers. Over the course of the semester, students will study how larger public policies (areas often considered “outside education”) –including housing policies, social welfare policies, transportation policies, and tax laws--have shaped cities, educational institutions and the lives and opportunities of students and families. This course will also examine the ways in which issues of race, immigrant status, social class and gender shape students’ experiences and outcomes within schools. Additionally, readings in this course will draw from a range of areas, including political science, public policy, housing policy, law, and sociology.
This course is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills they need to improve teaching and learning in PK-12 public school districts. Students will learn how decisions are made from the boardroom to the classroom in support of improving teaching and learning for all students. The foundational conceptual framework of this course is that improving instruction is the responsibility of everyone in the school district, and that leaders need to create reciprocal accountability for system employees to exercise that responsibility. In order to ensure that every child is receiving the kind of instruction they need to graduate college and career ready, all aspects of the organization must be aligned around a clear vision of social justice and excellence. The course will place a particular emphasis on designing professional learning systems that build the capacity of leaders throughout the system. Students will also learn how to analyze comprehensive sets of qualitative and quantitative data, in order to ensure that goals for adult and student learning are measured, adjusted and accomplished
This course is designed to provide a sound background in organizational theory and design and to equip students with fundamental knowledge and skills to enhance leadership practice and governance in PK-12 school districts. Individuals who choose to exercise leadership in education live and work within organizations including schools, districts, communities, states and nations. In this course, we will explore the dynamic relationship between the individual and the group, as well as the relationship between the district and the schools, examining the structural, social, political, and cultural dimensions of organizations. The course builds on the premise that in order to govern effectively in the context of urban education, leaders must work not only with school boards but also with stakeholders inside and outside the formal organization of the school district.
This course introduces the concepts, structures and practices of school finance from practical, political, legal and economic perspectives. Educators are under increasing pressure from the public and policymakers to demonstrate that resources are being used in optimal ways to increase the achievement of all students by providing equitable and adequate educational opportunities. Equity and adequacy frameworks will be introduced with a focus on the evolution of school finance litigation and court-ordered reforms that have shaped educational policies at the state and federal levels. The principles of budget planning, development, presentation and adoption will be thoroughly explored, including site-based, performance, zero-based, outcome-focused and traditional budget models. Budget discussions will analyze local, state and federal revenue sources and expenditure estimation. The areas of enrollment management, human resources management and capital management, strategies for reducing costs and overall financial management of school systems are explored.
The shifting landscape of American education and increased politicization of urban school systems hold critical implications for district-level education leaders. Expected to both understand and respond to the larger social, political, and economic forces that influence life in urban schools, education leaders confront numerous challenges as they navigate complex institutions, policy regimes, competing agendas, and special interests while advocating for the educational success of every student. In this course, we will explore the changing demands and expectations of urban school leadership in an era of inequality shaped largely by widening racial and socioeconomic segregation, privatization, gentrification, and corporate reform. By evaluating the influence of local, district, state, and federal policy decisions on student learning, academic achievement, and school performance, this course will consider whose values, interests, and agendas are being advanced in the education policy arena and to what end. It will also focus on how education leaders might adapt district-level strategies and democratic approaches to leadership through community-based advocacy, coalition building, and activism.
This course helps prepare school system leaders to use evidence, data, and research in their practice as school and district leaders as well as in preparation for doctoral dissertation-level research. In this course students learn how to access, understand, and apply peer-reviewed education research to their practice and in writing literature reviews; apply foundational quantitative, qualitative, and survey research methods to problems of practice in their organizations; and learn how to build, facilitate, and lead collaborative discussions to inform evidence-based improvement cycles around specific organizational instructional goals.
This course is designed to provide students with a sound background in the management knowledge and skills that are necessary in order to exercise effective leadership in public school districts. The course focuses on human resource management, a critical dimension of systemwide leadership. We will examine basic relationships among adults as they exist in school settings, including a look at the legal and contractual rights and responsibilities of school staff and consider options for action when such obligations are not carried out appropriately. Students will explore topics including labor relations, negotiations, collective bargaining, grievance/arbitration, due process, conflict resolution and mediation, professional coaching and complex personnel issues.
This course focuses on major theoretical perspectives on administrative leadership in education, how these perspectives are studied and advanced through empirical research, and how the theory and research are connected to leadership practice. Students will examine theory and empirical research on topics such as leadership effects on student learning; challenges in leading learning organizations; and the relationships among leaders' knowledge, skills, and dispositions and their leadership preparation and effectiveness.
This course provides students the opportunity to discuss topics related to the preparation of their dissertation proposal in a seminar format. Students present their ideas and writing for feedback from the instructor and other students. Students may enroll in this seminar once. Permission of the instructor is required.
This advanced research seminar provides students who already have successfully defended their dissertation proposal the opportunity to discuss their dissertation research—and the different phases of it-- in an intensive, interactive, case-based seminar format, with support and feedback from the instructor and other students; however, students in ORLA—6503 are working toward defending their dissertation proposals and those in ORLA—7503 are working on different aspects of their dissertation research depending on their research and dissertation needs (e.g., collecting data, analysis, inter-rater reliability, cross case conclusions, writing, etc.). ORLA 7503 is run in conjunction with ORLA 6503, with students from both courses meeting together. This course requires at least 18 hours per week of out-of-classroom work. Students may enroll in this course as needed in order to complete their dissertation. Permission of the instructor is required.
Individual advisement on the doctoral dissertation. Students register for this in the first semester after their dissertation proposal has been approved and continue registering in this (or in another course, with sponsor approval) until the dissertation is completed. Requires ongoing consultation between the student and dissertation sponsor. The fee equals three points at the current tuition rate for each term. Permission required from individual faculty.
Supporting adult development enhances adults’ internal capacities, which in turn enables them to manage better the complexities of leading, teaching, learning and living. This course seeks to help leaders—across levels and sectors—support adult growth within organizations. To support internal capacity building, leaders need to implement practices in service to adults’ professional and personal development. This is especially important given the complexities of the adaptive challenges we face in the course of leading, learning and working —especially today. In this course we will explore an expanded notion of leadership that includes adult development. We will study research on adult developmental theories and their connections to practices that facilitate adults’ transformational learning (i.e. learning that helps adults develop greater cognitive and affective capacities to better manage the complexities of leadership, work and life). We will consider questions such as: How can we create organizations and systems that support adults’ transformational learning? What practices support adult development? What developmental principles inform these practices? How can we support leadership development in the workplace? What supports and conditions are necessary and needed?