Why test option policy should not be allowed.
The goal for this assignment is to identify the major issues of your education policy debate and argue coherently and concisely for your side.
WRITTEN POLICY BRIEF
Content of assignment
The goal for this assignment is to identify the major issues of your education policy debate and argue coherently and concisely for your side. The best types of arguments that you can make are specific and supported by empirical research. Empirical research is defined for the context of this assignment as quantitative (e.g., statistics and studies that use large-scale surveys to show patterns of data and causal relationships between measures) as well as qualitative (e.g., case studies and ethnographies that tell stories about respondents and develop theory to explain social processes and problems). A good example of a quantitative study is the article we read in week 4 by Vincent J. Roscigno and James Ainsworth-Darnell titled “Race, Cultural Capital, and Educational Resources: Persistent Inequalities and Achievement Returns.” A good example of a qualitative study is the Morris book. In addition to empirical research, other sources that tell special interest stories about your topic are also persuasive. An example of this would be the chapters by Malcolm Gladwell or newspaper articles such as Miller’s “Ethical Parenting.” However, as discussed below, empirical articles should comprise the majority of your citations.
In addition to attempting to persuade your audience about your position on the educational issues, you should also directly address opposing arguments and try to refute them. Again, the best approach to this would be through empirical research. However, you can also rely on arguments that pick apart the lack of feasible alternatives and/or arguments that take the opposing argument to the extreme case.
Other considerations that might influence your arguments include answers to the following questions. Who are the key players (organizations involved, individuals involved)? Who benefits and who is hurt by the current system? What knowledge do we have about informal social processes that contribute to inequality (e.g., sources of capital, tracking, differences
in socialization in schooling, inequality between schools, summer learning gap, etc.)? What role might outside forces play?
It is important to note that these education issues are complicated and you will likely find elements on both sides that you agree with. Trying to think of every possible angle of the argument may be overwhelming. Instead of this approach, the key is to develop a critical analysis of the issue and defend one side of it. In other words, you should demonstrate that you have thought critically about the points that you are trying to make in terms of backing them up with research and refuting the opposition. This is not always an easy intellectual task, but one that is crucial for developing an argument for debate. These types of arguments are stronger than a piecemeal approach to the issue.
Nuts and bolts of assignment
What will a good paper look like? As you structure your essay, you might consider the following sections: 1) Introduction; 2) Summary of Position; 3) Critique of Position; 4) Conclusion; 5) Bibliography. The format of the essay should be double-spaced and 5- 7 pages excluding the bibliography. The bibliography should contain the following elements:
- The reading assignment for the week (see syllabus)
- FIVE additional SCHOLARLY or JOURNALISTIC sources (e.g., journal articles,
books, government reports, newspaper articles, etc.).
- You may NOT use web sources (e.g., blogs, Wikipedia, etc.).
- You may NOT use MORE THAN ONE newspaper article, unless you include more
than five additional sources.
The bibliography can be in any standard bibliographic format (e.g., APA, ASA, Chicago, MLA). If you are unfamiliar with these, you can use the empirical articles as a guideline. We will discuss in class some strategies for finding sources for your arguments/bibliographies using academic search engines.
This is the information for the essay. It wouldn’t allow me to put it in earlier
How test optional policy doesn’t affect diversity
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