About this 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.