Program Description

The Education Department offers a twelve-month program to prepare students for a variety of professional careers involving policy analysis, planning, and development in urban public education. A distinctive feature of the program is the integration of research, theory, and practice: academically rigorous coursework in research and theory across relevant disciplines is grounded in the day-to-day realities of practice via a concurrent nine-month internship in a local urban education policy setting.

The full program provides students with foundational concepts and a set of core skills in areas including:

  • data analysis and data-based decision making,
  • economic theory and application in the realm of urban education policy analysis,
  • urban politics as they relate to and impact urban education,
  • human development in an urban education context,
  • the role played by changing urban demographics in designing and implementing sound education policies, and
  • knowledge development regarding promising ideas and models for organizing schools and education systems in ways that enhance the education of urban students.

The program draws heavily on the urban education policy expertise of the Brown-based Annenberg Institute for School Reform to augment the practical and interdisciplinary aspects of the curriculum.

Collaborations with the Taubman Center for Public PolicyThe Education Alliance, and other academic departments at Brown further enrich the experience for students.

Core Skills

The academic coursework, in conjunction with a nine-month internship experience, are designed to impart graduating students with a set of skills and competencies required of one who would work or conduct advanced study in the area of urban education policy. Among these skills and competencies are:

  • Data Analysis and Data-Based Decision Making: Students will leave the program knowing how to collect, analyze, and use data—quantitative or qualitative, as is appropriate for the purpose—to make decisions and inform policy.
  • Economic Theory and Application: Students will leave the program knowing how to use basic microeconomic theory to inform policy analysis and shape policy-related decisions.
  • Urban Politics and Urban Education: Students will leave the program knowing how the political realities extant in the nation’s cities influence the opportunities and outcomes of the children educated in urban schools.
  • Human Development and Urban Education: Students will leave the program with a deeper knowledge of how children and adolescent development normally occurs, and the implications of this for select elements of the organization of formal education in an urban context.
  • Challenge & Opportunities of Changing Demographics: Students will leave the program understanding the key issues associated with the changing urban school population and the issues of equity and opportunity generated by these demographic shifts.
  • New Systems: Students will leave the program with a knowledge base regarding the emerging ideas and models for organizing schools and education systems.

Annenberg Institute for School Reform

The Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University is a standards-based and practice-centered policy-research and technical-assistance organization with an emphasis on promoting quality education for disadvantaged children and communities. Because of their years of experience in assisting urban schools and school districts meet the challenges of educating today's youth, AISR brings a special knowledge of how the intersection of policy and practice inevitably affect the educational outcomes of urban school children. The participation of AISR in the UEP program, from contributing to curriculum development to teaching to intern placement, gives UEP students a unique opportunity to be connected to the world of “practice” as they develop core skills via academic course work.