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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Critical Issues in Urban Education by The University of Chicago

68 ratings

About the Course

Urban school reform in the United States is characterized by contentious, politicized debate. This course explores a set of critical issues in the education and educational reform space, with a focus on aspects of the field that have sparked controversy and polarized views. We will dig into these debates, situating them within the larger history of public education and school reform, and considering the viewpoints, the evidence, and translation of issues into educational policy. We will consider three broad topics in this course: 1. Federal Strategies in School Reform: How has the federal government legislated and incented public school reform? 2. School Choice: How does school choice aim to improve schools? 3. Accountability: What is the history of accountability in American public schooling? What are the policies and practices associated with accountability? Learning Goals This course will enable participants to: 1. develop an informed historical perspective about public schooling in the United States; 2. understand the unique contextual elements of the American approach to public schooling; 3. analyze and assess divergent viewpoints about American public school history and school reform policy. Teachers may be able to receive continuing education credit for successful completion of this course. To earn continuing education credits students must purchase and earn the Course Certificate, which they can then submit to the credit-issuing agency in their state. Students should also fill out the requisite paperwork stating that the affiliated provider is the Graham School at the University of Chicago, and that average time for certificate-level course completion is 18 hours. Students outside of Illinois should contact their state’s accreditation board to determine whether this course is eligible for continuing education credit. Note that it is up to the schools or districts that employ teachers to decide whether this course meet their requirements....

Top reviews


Mar 9, 2017

Logically organised, informative and enjoyable. This was an excellent introductory course to Urban Education Issues and provided me with a solid starting point for exploring the subject.


Jan 26, 2019

Help a lot, got to learn a lot from this course. As I am student-teacher, this course is really helpful to reflect upon the concerns and issues in the education.

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1 - 24 of 24 Reviews for Critical Issues in Urban Education

By Kerry N

Mar 30, 2017

I thought the course was very interesting and the videos were great. One criticism I have, though, is that the name of the course is misleading; it really should have been called Educational Reform in the US. I don't think we studied specifically urban issues at all.

By Monisa A

Oct 10, 2021

This class needs updated videos to address the issues in current times and the progress that has or hasn't been occurred through the research and applications of the featured speakers. The course videos are from 2014 without updates. As with all of the courses I have taken through Coursera, individual universities should be more actively involved with "grading" and feedback for individual students inquiries.... potential to ask questions, etc.

By Terry L L

May 2, 2018

Good course. I have spent over 40 years working in major research universities, but my knowledge of K-12 education was inadequate. This course helped to fill a major gap in my understanding of the vast U.S. system of education. The professor's lectures were well-organized and informative. I also enjoyed the panel discussions. My only complaint--and this applies to many of the other Coursera courses that I have completed--are the long waiting times for the peer review process.

By Gabrielle D

Jul 4, 2017

I find this course very well done and particularly well explained for people like me who work in Education in the US but did not grow up here. Sara Ray Stoelinga is very clear and interesting. I am on week 2 out of 10 and decided to upgrade to get the certificate because her teachings are so worth it.

I am not sure that the course has been updated to include the new Trump administration. In any case, this is a great course and I recommend it.

By Jason M

Dec 5, 2016

I am thankful for the opportunity to learn. I promise to use this information to help empower and develop urban schools across Ohio and hopefully this nation. I believe all kids can learn but not all practices are productive to bring about hope to all young people. I found the professor to be brilliant and insightful. Thank you again for the opportunity to learn

By Omer A

Jun 27, 2020

Thorough coverage of various topics related to school reform. A great introduction to this subject for me. I really appreciated the effort which went into getting together an expert panel, whose members shared their complex opinions in a heartfelt respectful manner. I enjoyed this course!

By Michael S

Oct 7, 2020

I enjoyed the course very much! Professor Stoelinga gave us great factual information as well as informative lectures. She also provided excellent panel discussions that gave us great insight . I look forward to taking additional courses with her!

By Alyssa H

Feb 18, 2017

The topics were very thorough and covered everything I was wanting to learn more about in this area. The videos were done well. I also really liked the opportunity to comment and interact with other learners throughout the course.

By Muhammad i

Dec 30, 2019

i am happy to complete this course because i have learned a lot of positive information about the education learning methodologies and tacts. i need fully awarded course free of cost.

By Martha J L

Mar 10, 2017

Logically organised, informative and enjoyable. This was an excellent introductory course to Urban Education Issues and provided me with a solid starting point for exploring the subject.

By Baseera K C

Jan 27, 2019

Help a lot, got to learn a lot from this course. As I am student-teacher, this course is really helpful to reflect upon the concerns and issues in the education.

By Terrell J

Mar 20, 2018

Very informative and entertaining. Learning the true requirements that makes up the no child left behind reauthorization is ver

By Denise M J

Sep 12, 2018

Great course with great information to help me in my daily job but also with my non-profit and community advocacy work.

By Francis M

Mar 12, 2020

Enjoyable course with manageable requirements. Great ability to access the information around a busy schedule.

By Arnold L E

Feb 12, 2022

i really learned a lot in this course. very relevant to my line of work as a teacher in urban locality.

By Yin Z

Aug 31, 2017

Great Introduction to US education system, especially the Urban Education. The teacher is great!

By Esaite L

Jun 6, 2017

I loved this course. A great introduction to so many facets and perspectives of urban education.

By Antonio A G L

Oct 24, 2019

Excellent course to get the foundations and history of U.S. public education

By Gaonkar R M

Jan 4, 2017

Awesome course. A little difficult but worth it.

By Daniel C A

May 19, 2020

Very good indeed! great teacher

By Alicante, R F

Sep 30, 2020

Recommended course.

By Abdul H

Aug 13, 2018



Jun 12, 2020