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Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Education Policy

Looking for more light reading? Try this: The American Educational Research Association

has put together its first Handbook of Education Policy Research.

With a whopping 1,045 pages and 62 chapters, the book represents a massive undertaking and one that doesn't shy away from controversy. You can find research reviews here on the reading and math wars, efforts to reduce class sizes, collective bargaining agreements with teachers, charter schools and private school vouchers, home schooling, reducing achievement gaps, the use of randomized experiments, and so on. If researchers somewhere produced credible studies on it, it's in there.

The book is only the third handbook series produced by the Washington-based association. The first two focus on teaching and complementary research methods. And the policy handbook's creation reflects the burgeoning role of that line of work within the association and in the field at large.

"We just felt the time was right to organize and pull together a disparate body of work that makes the connection between policy research and practice and represents that work to the field," said Gary Sykes, the Michigan State University scholar who co-edited the book.

You can order the book from AERA here. If you never get around to reading it, the hardcover version, at $295 a pop, can also double as a very expensive doorstop.

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