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Old 10-06-2010, 02:56 PM
Location: the midwest
492 posts, read 2,170,701 times
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Just curious if any of you have thoughts on this combination for grad school. I haven't found any master's program that combines the two and I haven't gotten the best feedback from the universities and professors I've contacted... I possibly suck at sending random emails to people I don't know at prestigious institutions!

My interest is in the revitalization of rust-belt cities through improving the schools. I currently work in a high school in Cleveland and the schools here range from mediocre to awful, with most leaning decidedly more toward the awful end of the spectrum. There's little hope of luring middle-class families back into the city when the only educational choice is prohibitively expensive private schools or dismal public ones.

If any of you planners and urban enthusiasts out there could perhaps point me in the direction of some helpful books, research, grad programs, etc, that would be awesome!
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Old 10-06-2010, 03:32 PM
28,449 posts, read 72,693,835 times
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Default I think you are getting polite blow offs because ...

...the whole point of modern urban planning / policy grad schools is to integrate the examination of problems and solutions in a way that addresses the multi-dimensional scope that goes along with urban area.

If you are currently employed in an capacity that is at all related to urban planning and policy you'd know that.

If you are employed solely in a school setting and wish to transition away from that toward something that is more strategic there is really very little that any graduate degree from a School of Education would offer. Yes, I suppose you might be a little better equipped to get an administrative gig in a big city school system, but as recent events (with Huberman in Chicago and Rhee in DC) suggest have the paper credentials matters a whole lot less than having close ties to the mayor. Heck fmr Sec of Ed Bill Bennet had an advanced degree in PoliSci, that makes as much sense as anything else...

Believe me the thoughts you have are far from unique / original and most profs are very weary from having "fought and lost" both the efforts to improve schools and make urban area more appealing. Don't get me wrong, many people still care very deeply about dong the research to support the policies that would give more credence to the arguments that might help shape policies that lend support to revitalizing urban areas and schools, but the problem is already well documented. I mean yes, movies like Waiting for Superman have a slightly new twist on the importance of charter schools in giving people hope about education, but the essential message is remarkably similar to the 22 year old message of "Stand and Deliver" or even the 30 year old message of "Fame" the 43 year old message of To Sir with Love" or 55 year old message of "Blackboard Jungle"...

Folks like Bill Ayers are lightening rods for both the Schools of Education and the whole effort of combing Public Policy with Urban Planning. Even if you do not have the background in literally bomb building it is sort of a waste to deliberately try so hard to work against the things like teachers unions and land use policies. Much better to be a very good teacher, that hones there ability to help kids first hand. If you tire of that there are lots of other ways to help people see what sort of system we have...
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Old 10-06-2010, 11:13 PM
10,630 posts, read 23,779,038 times
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Have you checked out the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota? They offer a wide variety of options, and seem to be pretty open to combining different approaches (they're also a very well-respected school).
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Old 11-12-2010, 03:35 PM
228 posts, read 342,331 times
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[LEFT]The University of Texas at Arlington recently hired Richard Florida, author of the best-selling book, and Steven Pedigo — both world-renowned economic development experts — as visiting scholars in the School of Urban and Public Affairs during the next two years.
Florida, the director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto and founder of the Creative Class Group, also wrote 2008's, "Who's Your City: How the Creative Economy is Making Where to Live the Most Important Decision of Your Life," and 2010's, "The Great Reset: How New Ways of Living and Working Drive Post-Crash Prosperity."
His central theory is that prosperous communities capitalize on talent, tolerance and technology.
Pedigo serves as the director of Research and Communities for the think tank the Creative Class Group.
The pair will visit North Texas communities next week, specifically Fort Worth, downtown Arlington and parts of Dallas including the Oak Cliff community in southwestern Dallas.

Read more: UTA hires urban development gurus | Dallas Business Journal
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