A book co-edited by two scholars with ties to the Michigan State University College of Education examines education policy strategies employed in contemporary K-12 classrooms. The book, available now, features “contributions from researchers and policymakers who like to make a ruckus and speak to an audience that appreciates disruption.”
The bold examples are key to co-editors Ted Ransaw and Brian Boggs, who say they illustrate ways educators can make changes immediately.
“Policy drives education, but sometimes you have to push it,” said Ransaw, an outreach specialist in the Office of K-12 Outreach. “Educators can see when something isn’t working and intentionally change things up. The changes highlighted in the book are examples of the tipping of a domino that leads to more consistent changes across entire schools or districts.”
Specific examples include a free speech framework for LGBTQ students (a chapter co-written by Boggs), how career programming can drive student outcomes, an exploration of critical race theory (a chapter co-written by Ransaw), and involving father figures in schools (chapter written by Ransaw) among others.
“The educational system is designed to be changed in measured, particular ways,” said Boggs, an assistant professor of policy and educational leadership at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. Boggs is a two-time graduate of MSU, with dual doctorates in Education Policy and K-12 Educational Administration in 2014. “It is hard to know where to begin. This book shows examples of decisions that had outcomes — good and bad — but also shows engaging in real ways that really effected change.”
Educators & scholars
Contributing authors to “Emerging Trends in Education Policy: Unapologetic Progressive Conversations” (Information Age Publishing, 2023) are primarily alumni from the Education Policy Fellowship Program. MSU hosts one of the longest-running programs in the United States, with nearly 50 years of history. Ransaw and Boggs are alumni from MSU’s program.
In addition, all chapter authors were K-12 educators before moving into a scholarly research role.
The contributors include emerging scholars and senior scholars – including a preface written by University Distinguished Professor Bill Schmidt.
Ransaw was a long-term substitute teacher, who was inspired to learn more about how policy and education intersected. In addition to being an EPFP alum, Ransaw is a certified Viable Learning Presenter, a certified Adolescent Reading Intervention specialist, a certified education coach and a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist PR actioner. Before coming to MSU in 2013, he was the director of the Lion’s Den Mentorship Program in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Boggs was a high school English teacher and administrator before pursuing his Ph.D. at MSU. Prior to moving to the University of Michigan-Dearborn in 2022, Boggs served as the associate director of the MSU Office of K-12 Outreach and as an assistant professor with MSU International Studies and Programs.
“To many, the idea of education policy is ambiguous or inaccessible,” said Boggs, who also holds a J.D. from the Mitchell Hameline School of Law. “This book can expand what individuals think of as education policy, better recognize it and see its importance.”