Michael Gottfried of UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz School has co-edited--with Gilberto Q. Conchas, Briana M. Hinga, and Leticia Oseguera--a new book Education Policy Goes to School: Case Studies on the Limitations and Possibilities of Educational Innovation (Routledge Press, 2017). The book describes how educational policies explicitly implemented in order to reduce educational gaps and promote access and success for disenfranchised youth can backfire—and often have the unintended result of widening those gaps. In this interdisciplinary collection of case studies, contributors examine cases of policy backfire, when policies don’t work, have unintended consequences, and when policies help. Although policy reform is thought of as an effective way to improve schooling structures and to diminish the achievement gap, many such attempts to reform the system do not adequately address the legacy of unequal policies and the historic and pervasive inequalities that persist in schools. Exploring the roots of school inequality and examining often-ignored negative policy outcomes, contributors illuminate the causes and consequences of poor policymaking decisions and demonstrate how policies can backfire, fail, or have unintended success.
Michael Gottfried is Associate Professor in the Department of Education at UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz Graduate School of Education. His research focuses on absenteeism, schooling context, and STEM with an interest in disabilities running through all of these areas. He has served as PI on grants focusing on schooling context and outcomes specifically for elementary school students (NSF, AERA/NSF, NIH/NICHD R03, Foundation for Child Development, Stuart Foundation, Spencer Foundation). He has published work in the American Educational Research Journal, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Teachers College Record, Education Finance and Policy, American Journal of Education, Elementary School Journal, among others. In 2016, he released a co-edited book on educational policy with Harvard Education Press. Gottfried is on the Editorial Board of American Educational Research Journal and Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis. He holds a PhD and MA in Applied Economics from the University of Pennsylvania, and a BA in Economics from Stanford University.