Assignment #2 – Letter to a Policy Maker In a well-written and persuasive letter, write to a policymaker at the local, state, or federal level about a policy initiative (reform) you believe will improve public education. You may select one of the topics covered in class or you may select your own idea. If you select your own idea, please run the topic by me before you begin. In the letter you should: a. Explain the purpose of the policy you are recommending b. Explain why you believe the policy will be effective (e.g., you should cite applicable research, articles, statistics). You may include your own personal experiences as a student, parent, teacher, etc. to make your case, but this alone is not sufficient. c. Explain the challenges the policymaker will encounter implementing this policy. In other words, provide the counter-argument for your initiative and explain why you believe your position is better for public education. d. Explain how policymakers will know if the initiative is effective? e. The letter should be no less than 4-5 pages Your letter should be persuasive. You can only be persuasive if you back up your argument with information culled from published research. For example, if you are arguing for more charter schools, provide research that shows charters are more effective. Sample Topics: Reforming the way schools are funded Arguing for expansion of charter school cap in NY Passage of a school voucher law in NYS Reforming NYC’s specialized school entrance exams (in the news a lot lately) Reforming the teacher evaluation process Proposing changes to ESSA You may choose another topic too (check with me first) A sample structure for the letter: Date Inside Address (look this up) Dear Governor Cuomo (or whomever you decide to write to): Opening: Explain the purpose of your letter: I am writing to you today to express my displeasure with the current policy on ______. Go on to explain why you are unhappy/happy with the policy. Why do you think reform is needed? Body (First Half): Give several reasons why you feel reform is needed in this area. Provide relevant statistics to back up your case for why the current policy is ineffective Transition Body (Second Half): The next area of the paper should explain your proposal. Why do you think your alternative is better. Again, make a persuasive argument. Cite statistics and research in the readings. What are the challenges the policymaker will face with this reform (hint: think of the stakeholders who would oppose). Ending: Wrap up your letter. Make your final pitch. Salutation e.g. Sincerely, Your Name Include references in APA style at the end of your paper. Title these References not Works Cited or Bibliography.
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