Education policy consists of the principles and government policies in the educational sphere as well as the collection of laws and rules that govern the operation of education systems.
Education occurs in many forms for many purposes through many institutions. Examples include early childhood education, kindergarten through to 12th grade, two and four year colleges or universities, graduate and professional education, adult education and job training. Therefore, education policy can directly affect the education people engage in at all ages.
Examples of areas subject to debate in education policy, specifically from the field of schools, include school size, class size, school choice, school privatization, tracking, teacher selection, education and certification, teacher pay, teaching methods, curricular content, graduation requirements, school infrastructure investment, and the values that schools are expected to uphold and model.
Issues in education policy also address problems within higher education. The Pell Institute analyzes the barriers experienced by teachers and students within community colleges and universities. These issues involve undocumented students, sex education, and federal grant aides.
Education policy analysis is the scholarly study of education policy. It seeks to answer questions about the purpose of education, the objectives (societal and personal) that it is designed to attain, the methods for attaining them and the tools for measuring their success or failure. Research intended to inform education policy is carried out in a wide variety of institutions and in many academic disciplines. Important researchers are affiliated with departments of psychology, economics, sociology, and human development, in addition to schools and departments of education or public policy. Examples of education policy analysis may be found in such academic journals as Education Policy Analysis Archives and in university policy centers such as the National Education Policy Center housed at the University of Colorado Boulder University of Colorado Boulder.
Education reform in the United States
Education reform is a topic that is in the mainstream currently in the United States. Over the past 30 years, policy makers have made a steady increase at the state and federal levels of government in their involvement of US schools. Although states hold the constitutional right on education policy, the federal government is advancing their role by building on state and local education policies. In the state of Texas during the 84th Legislature, there were several education reform bills filed and sponsored by many education reform groups, such as Texans for Education Reform. Lawmakers want to create more involvement at the local level, and more transparency in our public schools. These groups are being pressured and opposed by teachers' unions saying that accountability and transparency policies are targeting educators, and that they are trying to hold them responsible for the education system.
Teacher policy is education policy that addresses the preparation, recruitment and retention of teachers. A teacher policy is guided by the same overall vision and essential characteristics as the wider education policy: it should be strategic, holistic, feasible, sustainable, and context-sensitive. Overall objectives and major challenges to be addressed, the funding to achieve these objectives, the demographic parameters of the learner population and the human resources required to achieve universally accessible quality education should all be addressed in a comprehensive teacher policy.
Nine key dimensions
Nine key dimensions are considered crucial to any comprehensive teacher policy: Teacher Recruitment and Retention, Teacher education (initial and continuing), Deployment, Career Structures/Paths, Teacher Employment and Working Conditions, Teach Reward and Remuneration, Teacher Standards, Teacher Accountability, and School Governance.
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- "EBSCO Publishing Service Selection Page". eds.a.ebscohost.com. Retrieved 2015-09-25.
- UNESCO. "Teacher policies: Preparation, Recruitment and Retention of Quality Teachers/Educators". UNESCO.
- UNESCO (2015). Teacher policy development guide: summary (PDF). Paris, UNESCO. pp. 14, 18.
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