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Educational Policy Studies and Evaluation: Talking Research

The Department of Educational Policy Studies and Evaluation launched a Research Brown Bag Series this fall. The purpose of the series is to provide EPE faculty and graduate students with opportunities to share their research in emergent stages of development and to receive constructive feedback from a multi-disciplinary audience.

To kick things off, the series featured presentations from faculty members Drs. Jungmin Lee, John Thelin and Joe Ferrare, as well as EPE graduate students Renee Setari and Jessica Horohov. The talks were well-attended, lively and constructive. The schedule for Spring 2016 is currently being developed and will be posted to the EPE website and on Twitter at @UK_EPE. Those interested in learning more about the series are encouraged to contact Dr. Joe Ferrare (joseph.ferrare@nulluky.edu) and Dr. Willis Jones (willis.a.jones@nulluky.edu). 

Philanthropic Foundations in Education

Dr. Joe Ferrare, assistant professor, is leading a team of Educational Policy Studies and Evaluation graduate students in a research project that utilizes organizational network analysis to examine how philanthropic foundations are changing the education policy landscape in the United States. Past and current graduate students include Katherine Reynolds (now at Boston College), Renee Setari and Joe Barrette.

Ferrare recently co-edited a book on this topic, “Mapping Corporate Education Reform: Power and Policy Networks in the Neoliberal State” (Routledge, 2015), and is now expanding this work through a series of empirical network analyses. For example, Ferrare and Reynolds completed a policy network analysis that compares the strategies of major and non-major philanthropic foundations in shaping education policy, and a manuscript summarizing these findings was recently accepted for publication in the American Journal of Education. Ferrare and Setari are now using network models to test whether philanthropic foundations’ co-funding of state charter school policies corresponds to research-based evidence that these policies are effective. Setari is also using a similar design to analyze philanthropic funding of elite colleges and universities.