Race to the Top, Race to the Bottom: Interrogating Educational Policy, Law and Media


Spring 2015 quarter

Taught by

law, literature, theatre

Educational ranking in the United States and globally has long been controversial, even more so today as student and teacher accountability measures drive our perceptions of what constitutes an effective and equitable American school. How exactly have these perceptions of educational success and failure been formed: by history, by legal precedent, by educational policy, by economics, and by the media? In this program, we will analyze how such factors influence our perceptions and assessment of American schooling today.

By conducting field research and tutoring in the public schools, comparing and contrasting school practices, policies, local, state and federal laws, as well as tracking media representation, we will analyze the nature of public education and how it has been conceptualized and depicted in the United States and abroad.

Our final research project will consider how to interrogate both the depictions of schooling and how accurate depictions play an important role in the shaping of equitable U.S. educational policy in the future.

Program Details

Fields of Study

Preparatory for studies or careers in

American studies, communications, community studies, education, field studies, law and public policy, media studies and writing.

Location and Schedule

Campus location



Offered during: Day


Buy books for this program through Greener Bookstore.

Online Learning

Hybrid Online Learning < 25% Delivered Online:

Required Fees

$50 for entrance fees.


Date Revision
February 11th, 2015 This program has been cancelled.
April 16th, 2014 New opportunity added.

Registration Information

Credits: 16 (Spring)

Class standing: Sophomore–Senior

Maximum enrollment: 25


Course Reference Number not yet available.

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