A Young American Professor of Pakistani Descent Makes News
A Pakistan Link Report

Dr Huriya Jabbar, Assistant Professor of Education at University of Texas, Austin, is featured prominently in a "Washington Post" article on the questionable strategies that schools sometimes use to attract students. Some of the approaches have little to do with real education and are looked at with alarm by policy makers.

The article also covers the controversial topic of charter versus public schools. School policies and practices have far-reaching effects on a country’s academic standing in the world.

In the Washington Post article, “How do schools respond to competition? Not as you might expect,” Emma Brown makes extensive use of Dr Huriya’s research to raise some issues of critical importance to education.

Brown mentions the standard expectation that “school-choice is built on the philosophy that competition forces schools to improve.” However, drawing on Dr Huriya’s extensive research, Brown reaches the conclusion that “ school leaders are less likely to work on improving academics than to use other tactics in their efforts to attract students.”

Most of the schools, included in her study “competed by marketing their existing programs, including with signs, billboards, t-shirts, home visits and incentives for parents to refer potential students.” In Dr Huriya’s words, “These school leaders do not always respond to competition in the ways that policymakers hope.”

Brown’s article draws heavily on Dr Huriya’s dissertation, titled “The rising tide: School choice and competition in post-Katrina New Orleans. Her dissertation has been recognized as an outstanding piece of scholarship, receiving the following honors and awards:

AERA Division L (Politics and Policy) Dissertation Award
AERA Division A (Administration, Organization and Leadership)
AERA Politics of Education Association Award
Journal of Educational Administration, winner of the 2014 Emerald/EFMD Outstanding Doctoral Research Award in the Education and Leadership Strategy.

By reading Emma Brown’s Washington Post article, one can see why Dr Huriya’s pioneering and original work in the field has received such national and international attention. A n assistant professor in the Department of Educational Administration, she studies the social and political dimensions of market-based reforms in education, including school choice and incentive pay, and how research on such reforms is used by policymakers at the local, state, and federal levels. Dr Huriya’s was a 2013–2014 recipient of the National Academy of Education/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship.

Full text of Emma Brown’s Washington Post article can be read at:

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/local/wp/2015/03/26/how-do-schools-respond- to -competition-not-as-you-might-expect /

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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