The goal of this course is to provide students with an opportunity to get their "hands dirty" with actual policy work, both as a way to utilize some of the skills they have learned in their other courses as well as to help them learn about many of the political and practical issues involved in "doing" real policy. In this course, students will work with a "client" agency or organization to carry out a policy-related research and/or analysis project. Students will work in groups of 2-5 students on projects determined by their individual interest and expertise. The projects will likely range from statistical evaluation (e.g., evaluating the effectiveness of a particular program, or conducting a cost-benefit analysis of a local government service) to political analysis (e.g., writing a set of case studies focusing on how other states have managed to fund and implement early childhood education programs in order to provide guidance to a client considering this type of program). Examples of past clients include the Michigan Department of Education and a Michigan non-profit organization Success by Six.
Walter H. Annenberg Professor of Education Policy; Professor of Public Policy; Professor of Economics; Professor of Education
Jacob is co-director of the Youth Policy Lab. His primary fields of interest are labor economics, program evaluation, and the economics of education. Jacob's current research focuses on urban school reform, with a particular emphasis on standards and accountability initiatives.