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K-12 Education Leadership and Policy

As a leader in the K-12 education and leadership policy arena, our strength is in developing research, testing it in national and international education environments, and providing students the opportunities to learn from the research and apply it in their academic and professional lives. Our educational leadership and policy programs consistently rank in the top of such programs in the United States.

For those interested in K-12 institutional settings we offer three degrees: The Masters of Public Policy, the Doctorate in Education (Ed.D.) in Leadership and Policy, and the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Leadership and Policy Studies with a concentration in K-12 education.

Our programs focus on understanding and enhancing the social, institutional and organizational contexts of schools and other settings where people learn, including traditional public schools, charter schools, private schools, out-of-school settings such as neighborhoods and after-school programs.

Relevant, Rigorous Research

The Education Leadership and Policy faculty in the K-12 area embraces theory, practice, and research. Research advances knowledge and seeks to improve the effectiveness of educational institutions, improve student learning and strengthens policy and its effects Our courses are firmly grounded in rigorous methodologies, current research, and conceptual understandings of practice and theory.

Our faculty are deeply committed to the development and growth for our students and linking research to practice. They have developed and used many of the most current methodologies for understanding, evaluating, and planning policies, and practices of K-12 school systems. They are engaged in the important education issues of the day and are studying some of the most contested and complex educational issues of our times: charter schooling, pay for performance, access and equity for immigrant and at-risk students, resource allocation, teacher quality, principal instructional leadership, data-driven decision making, and the social context of education.

They are members of editorial boards, school and education policy forums at the national, state and local levels, and consultants to governments both in the United States and internationally. The department faculty are currently leading two national education research centers funded by the U.S. Department of Education both of which are located on the Peabody College campus.

Among the issues LPO faculty and graduate students are examining:

  • How to evaluate principals and teachers
  • Teacher incentives and performance pay
  • School zoning, the academic achievement gap, and re-segregation
  • Coaching and feedback for leadership change and development
  • Educational policymaking, including issues of school finance

Information Sheet about K-12 Education Leadership and Policy (Ed.D.)