This course is designed to introduce students to debates about the impact of policies on inequalities in the United States. We will begin the class by reviewing work on inequalities more broadly. At the beginning of the semester, we will touch on topics like Black Lives Matter, historical oppression, systemic racism, and Whiteness. From there, we will move to investigate the use of education policy as a tool to maintain inequalities within the United States. We will tackle areas such as Indian boarding schools, the desegregation of schools, academic tracking, criminalization of Black and Brown students, and achievement testing.

In this class, students will review relevant research, policies, court cases, and projects that aim to either maintain or eliminate inequality. Students will also be expected to engage in thought-provoking conversations around disparities and will be encouraged to think critically about challenging topics. Additionally, students will work individually and in small groups on a series of assignments over the semester. Prerequisites are not required for this introductory course.