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Public Sector Structural Reform in K-12 Education, Pt. II

Spring 2014 MBA Course

B8548-001: Public Sector Structural Reform in K-12 Education, Pt. II

- 09:01AM to 09:01AM

Instructor: James Liebman

This course is cross-listed with the Law School, and provides an exciting opportunity to immerse yourself in education reform policy and practice, and to work on a consulting project that will help design a performance-management strategy for a public school system. It will be scheduled for a time convenient for students admitted to it. The class will have students from other graduate schools at Columbia, with 6 seats reserved for Columbia Business School students.

The course takes an interdisciplinary approach to understanding what conceptual, structural and organizational changes are taking place in public K-12 organizations, and teams will also work on a project for a public-sector entity that is participating in these changes. Topics covered include: institutional design, labor relations and accountability; statistical and qualitative approaches to assessment, diagnostic monitoring and the identification of effective practices; horizontal (site-to-site) distribution of knowledge; tensions between local autonomy and centrally enforced accountability, incentives and learning as disciplining devices, rules and standards, supervision versus facilitation as middle-management strategies, design and implementation, and input- and outcomes-oriented conceptions of fairness and success.
This class will be taught by James Liebman, the Simon H. Rifkind Professor of Law at Columbia Law School, and former Chief Accountability Officer New York City Department of Education.

Acceptance in the B8547: Public-Sector Structural Reform Part 1 (fall, pre-requisite for Part 2) and Part 2 (spring) courses is by application, with a follow up interview. If you are admitted to these course, you will be asked to commit to take both, and it will be added to the courses you will see in BOSS. To apply for this course, please email a resume and a short statement of interest (1 page or less). Interviews will be scheduled for first year students in the spring who wish to take these courses next academic year. The criteria for selection will be described in the syllabus for the fall semester course.

If you have any questions, you may contact Professor James Liebman at


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