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Policy Memorandum - Merits of policy options to improve the district’s schools

Assignment: Policy Memorandum No. 2
You are the executive director of the Harper City School District’s school board in the “Who Needs Lesson Plans?”

case study.1 You have been charged with drafting a memorandum to Superintendent Simon and the school board that discusses the merits of the policy options below to improve the district’s schools. Based on your views of teaching and learning, recommend one or more of the following three options:


(1) Require that all of the district’s teachers create lesson plans that are based on progressivism pedagogy.


(2) Replace the principal if the school does not meet its proficiency targets for all subgroups on the state’s standardized tests in two years.


(3) Require that all teachers and students together annually develop their own standards, not those required by the state, that focus primarily on critical thinking.


Your three-page memorandum to Superintendent Simon and the school board should rely heavily on evidence and support from our course readings from the “Teaching and Learning” unit (sessions 5-8 in the syllabus).

Do not use outside sources. Your focus should be on how your views on pedagogy, curriculum, content, and testing influence your analysis and recommendation.


A few important reminders:
(1) Please submit all written assignments with 1.5-spacing, Calibri 12-pt font, and 1-inch margins.


(2) For citations, please simply include the author’s last name and the publication year in parens after each sentence – for example, “one approach to equal educational opportunity is to ensure that all students have sufficient knowledge and skills to participate in a democratic society (Gutmann, 1987)”.

If you cite the author by name within a sentence, then simply place the publication year after the author’s name: for example, “Amy Gutmann (1987) explained that . . . .” You do not need a page with a reference list for this assignment because I have all the references in the syllabus. For further information on in-text citations, please see an online APA style guide.


(3) Use the format on the next page and use headings for each section. Please keep both the introduction/summary and the background/facts very short – for example, 2-4 sentences each. Your focus should be on the analysis and recommendation.


1 Kowalski, T. J. (2012). Case studies on educational administration (pp. 1-6). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
Schools & Society
Snyder Spring 2020
MEMORANDUM
TO: [add]
FROM: [add]
SUBJECT: [add]
DATE: [add]


Introduction (Summary Including Statement of Your Recommendation) (1 paragraph)
Background (1 paragraph)
Discussion (Analysis of Options)
Option 1 (2-3 paragraphs):
Option 2 (2-3 paragraphs):
Option 3 (2-3 paragraphs):
Recommendation (Discussion of Recommendation) (1-3 paragraphs)
Rubric


SCORING RUBRIC: Policy Memo
Score Category
Points
Score
Comments
Strong and clear introduction and background
2


0 How could you clarify your recommendation upfront? How could you make your background more specific/concise? Solid introduction and background overall!
Clear organization and presentation of the material
5


0 How could you improve your topic sentences so that they state your proposition for the paragraph upfront? How could you improve organization of each paragraph? Solid topic sentences and transitions overall!


Accurate, relevant, and specific use of literature to support your analyses and recommendation
10


0 How could you further use the course readings about the purposes of education to support your analyses? How could you counter arguments that do not favor you? Strong use of evidence to support your arguments!
Use of relevant facts from case to support your analyses
6


0 How could you have further connected your policy discussion to the facts in the case study? Strong use of case facts in your analysis!
Writing style, including syntax, diction, spelling, grammar
2


0 How could you improve spelling and grammar mistakes? How could you make your language more concise and precise (e.g., use fewer/better words and active voice)? Solid prose, including varied sentence styles and word choices!
Total Score
25
0
Overall Comments:

Policy Memorandum - Merits of policy options to improve the district’s schools

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