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BookTalk: The Politics of African-American Education

Sept. 6 | 2 p.m. ET

Representation, Partisanship, and Educational Equity

Based on the 1,800 largest school districts in the United States over a decade, The Politics of African-American Education documents the status of African-American education and the major role partisanship plays. The book brings together the most comprehensive database on minority education to date that centers around three arguments:

First, partisanship permeates African-American education; it affects who is elected to the school board, the racial composition of school administrators and teachers, and the access of African-American students to quality education.

Second, African-American representation matters. The effectiveness of African-American representation, however, is enhanced in Democratic districts while representation in Republican districts has little influence.

Third, political structures matter, but they are not determinative. Two different structures—election rules and the independent school district—create the rules of the game in U.S. education politics and policy but do not limit others from using those rules to change the outcome.

BookTalk: Fiscal Administration

Sept. 12 | 1 p.m. ET

Fiscal Administration broke new ground in its first edition in 1982 by extending the scope of public budgeting and finance instruction in public administration programs to extend beyond discussions of budget process to include revenue and debt policy and administration. The 10th edition continues that extension to include the pressing problem of public pension finance. This edition emphasizes two principles:
  • Students must understand precisely where the money for public budgets comes from and where it goes
  • Students must "run the numbers" to effectively learn public finance and budgeting and to be immediately useful to prospective employers.

John L. Mikesell gives students detailed instruction to equip them to deal with the complex issues and calculations they will encounter in the field. Chapters include questions and exercises that require calculations to determine the answers. This edition also includes "Cases for Discussion" and "Sidebars" that provide in-depth and often irreverent treatment of key topics and illustrate how strange fiscal administration can be.

Webinar attendees will:

  • Have a better understanding of the fiscal condition of governments in the United States and how they have managed to get in that shape
  • Have a better understanding of the options available to these governments and the barriers they face
  • Have a better understanding of why public administrators need to know revenue policy and administration, in addition to knowing expenditure policy and management

John L. Mikesell, Chancellor's Professor of Public and Environmental Affairs Emeritus, Indiana University—Bloomington
John received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Illinois. His work on government finance and taxation has appeared in journals such as National Tax Journal; Public Budgeting and Finance (for which he served as editor-in-chief from 1996 to 2011); Public Finance Quarterly; Southern Economic Journal; Public Administration Review and many others.

BookTalk: Policymaking for Citizen Behavior Change: A Social Marketing Approach

Nov. 15 | 1 p.m. ET

Social marketing is a discipline unfamiliar to many policymakers, often confused with the more frequently applied and studied fields of social media, behavioral economics or social change. It is a growing field and methodology, however, that has been successfully applied to improve public health, prevent injuries, protect the environment, engage communities and improve financial well-being. Policymaking for Citizen Behavior Change is designed to demonstrate the ways in which social marketing can be an effective and efficient tool to change citizens’ behavior and how to advocate for and support its appropriate application.

Providing a 10-step planning model and examining a variety of social marketing cases and tools, including more than 40 success stories, Policymaking for Citizen Behavior Change is core reading for current policymakers, as well as all those studying and practicing social marketing, particularly in the public sector. It’s also worthwhile supplementary reading for those studying public policy, public administration, environmental justice, public health and other programs on how to effect social change.

Nancy R. Lee, International Academy of Interfaith Studies