Saving Schools: History, Politics, and Policy in U.S. Education, Mini-Course II: Teacher Policies

Mini-Course II: Teacher Policies

About The Course

This is the second in a sequence of four mini-courses, releasing on October 27th, 2014. This mini-course looks in-depth at modern-day issues surrounding teacher policies in U.S. education.

The teacher is the most important person in our schools. How do we recruit and retain the very best teachers? What are our current methods for recruiting teachers?  How well do we compensate them?  What are the effects of adjusting teacher salaries to be based on their performance in the classroom? When should teachers be given tenure? Do current policies encourage or discourage effective teachers from entering the profession?

Many questions come down to budgetary constraints. Should you hire more teachers so you have smaller classes? Should it be a priority to balance how much is spent between wealthy and poor districts?

Throughout this mini-course, we will be focused on using empirical evidence to answer these questions.

This mini-course contains six lectures, with most lectures divided into three videos. The mini-courses also include assigned readings, discussion forums, and assessments.

This is the second mini-course in a four-course sequence. Mini-Course I: History and Politics of U.S. Education can be found here. Mini-Course III: Accountability and National Standards can be found here. Mini-Course IV: School Choice can be found here.


Audit this course for free and have complete access to all the course material, activities, tests, and forums. If your work is satisfactory and you abide by the Honor Code, you'll receive a personalized Honor Code Certificate to showcase your achievement.

WAYS TO TAKE THIS COURSE FOR A FEE: Earn a Verified Certificate of Achievement

Looking to test your mettle? Do you plan to use your completed coursework for job applications, promotions or school applications? Then you may prefer to work towards an edX personalized Certificate of Achievement to document your accomplishment. It is a great way to document your accomplishment. You may switch into this option at any time before the mini-course finishes on November 24. In order to achieve a certificate, however, you must complete the mini-course requirements by November 24.

Earn Harvard Credit

Optionally, you can enroll in the traditional, semester-long course at Harvard Extension School. Courses are offered in fall or spring semesters, or both. You have the option to enroll for undergraduate or graduate credit and will receive grades on a Harvard transcript. Learn more about the course on the Harvard Extension School website.

Recommended Background