Week Three Discussion Questions
• Discuss the three dimensions of power. Identify which types are used in educational and business settings. Discuss why and how they are used.
• Using Figure 4.3 and Table 4.3 in Ch. 4 in the Fowler text, find your home state. How is your state’s political culture portrayed? Do you agree or disagree? Provide examples to support your position. How does political culture differ from political ideology?
• Using the charts and graphs in the Fowler text and knowledge of your state, how do you portray your state’s demographics? Why are demographics important to policy development? How will future leaders deal with these demographics?
• Identify three theories of policy making and briefly discuss their role in the policy-making process. How do existing theories provide useful guidance for analyzing policies?
Week Four Discussion Questions
• Identify a policy of interest, such as a homeowner’s policy, a community policy, a state policy, and so forth. Discuss the varying constituents that must be considered in the policy’s development and implementation. What role does each constituent play in the formation and implementation phases of policy making? How are these constituencies determined?
• Discuss the purposes of long- and short-term policy evaluations. When and why would you use them?
• What are the concerns and constraints of policy evaluation in U.S. schools today?
Week Five Discussion Questions
• Discuss the role of ethics and social justice in policy development. Offer examples to illustrate your thoughts.
• Discuss the types of equity in funding of education in the United States. Is one more important than the other? Defend your answer. You may suggest different funding.
• Discuss Lowi’s and Ginsberg’s techniques of control. Are they applicable today? If so, how do they apply to your profession?
• Outline how bills are drafted and discuss the pitfalls that arise. In today’s political arena, what at the federal, state, or local level could be remedied in the process?
Week Six Discussion Questions
• What educational accountability system would you create for a state if given the responsibility? Discuss the components of your system and rationale.
• Illustrate the cycle of policy development, implementation, and evaluation. What do you think is the key element in the cycle?
• Provide an example of a policy that did not fare well. Discuss why it did not. This may be a federal, state, or local policy.
• What effect, if any, has the move toward increased accountability had on schools, hospitals, and businesses? Provide examples to illustrate your view.
Week Seven Discussion Questions
• In some areas of the United States, public schools have been handed over to private companies. Is privatization an effective thing for students and society?
• Do you believe the mayor of a city should be the superintendent of schools? Explain and defend your answer.
• What indicators other than test scores should be used in schools? How feasible would it be to implement these changes? Would there be a cost? Who would bear this cost? What stakeholders would need to buy in?
• What is the purpose of public education today? How and why has this purpose evolved over time? What do you believe must be the purpose of public education today? How may this be accomplished?
• Provide a historical perspective of education in the United States by considering what you know of the origins of various public educational systems and structures. Which ones have a purpose and which must be reevaluated and changed?
Week Eight Discussion Questions
• The Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce proposed that states provide free English language classes for those who have completed a ninth grade or equivalent education. They also suggested that the G.I. Bill be enhanced to attract more military returning to civilian life. Explain how these suggestions might or might not help the American workforce.
• Compare and contrast how the United States and another country prepare their youth for the workforce. Which model do you feel is more effective? Why?
• What are businesses and colleges seeing in high school graduates entering the workforce? What do you believe may be remedied in schools?
• Visit your state board of public education’s website. What programs or initiatives are in place or pending that will help prepare students for college or the workforce upon graduation? Do you believe the efforts will have a successful result? Why or why not?
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Dr. Marcia Griffiths-Prince
University of Phoenix