How Do You Become an Educational Policy Expert?

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In order to become an educational policy expert, students will need to meet specific academic and work experience requirements. The best educational policy experts tend to have solid, hands-on experience working with students, parents and fellow teachers. Experiencing the American school systems provides an in-depth understanding of educational policy and system deficiencies.

Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

The first step is to earn a bachelor’s degree related to education. Fortunately, there are many academic options available, such as art, middle school and early education degrees. Students may also study child development, English literature, educational psychology and instructional technology. Regardless of the program, students should take courses that teach them how to actively apply research data, assessment theories and classroom management strategies to their teaching practices. Degrees related to education will train students on curriculum design, so students can integrate real-world information into course content, and student assessments, so graduates will understand how to evaluate student populations and education systems. Students who want to become educational policy experts should take classes on educational policies and leadership classes

Work in Education Administration

If possible, aspiring educational policy experts can start out their career in an educational administration position. For example, education program managers set project scopes, develop schedules and evaluate educational reports. They prepare cost estimates for project budgets, coordinate professional development events and ensure that their facility meets educational regulations. On the other hand, a research analyst who works in a university will focus on critical educational topics, such as hiring policies, teacher effectiveness and hybrid learning initiatives. They may also conduct long-term studies that analyze the relationships between students’ socio-economic background and academic achievements. Those who work as educational administrators in local public school districts will have plenty of opportunities to review and adjust policies. This job will require them to evaluate data quality, identify methodological challenges and resolve barriers to policy effectiveness.

Earn a Master’s Degree

Any formal educational policy expert position will require a specialized master’s degree. One of the most common majors for this career track is called educational policy studies. This concentration combines elements of policy analysis, educational leadership and school improvement. These programs offer students rare academic opportunities to learn educational policies under the mentoring of current or past educational policy experts. These degree programs offer classes about education systems in rural and urban contexts, which provide students with critical analyses of the relationships between public schools and their environments. Classes on the politics of education study the complex relationships between school systems, academic governance and politics. Classes on education policies in action use real-world examples of how bureaucratic programs and guidelines either fail or succeed in improving schools and student achievements.

Work as an Educational Policy Expert

Most educational policy expert jobs are with research, government, higher learning and private think-tank organizations. Educational policy experts are in charge of studying, writing and producing intuitive articles that showcase the impacts of policies and legislation acts on student achievements and teacher effectiveness. They collect research from a variety of sources and synthesize their findings into calls to action and feasible recommendations. They often write briefs on key educational issues for internal audiences, such as Department of Education staff, and external audiences, such as educational executives and administrators. Educational policy experts work with assistants to create informative handouts that highlight things like policy weaknesses, teacher training inefficiencies and barriers to education equality.

Related Resource: Educational Researcher

In order to be successful, students should establish beneficial relationships with community and government partners that will aid them in their career goal of becoming educational policy experts.

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