White Paper Policy: Education Proposal for US Public Schools


The goal in this assignment is for you to present a reasoned, analytically sound, empirically valid, and well-written argument that provides a policy solution to a problem that you identify. It should be addressed to a specific recipient (a politician or agency) who has the power to influence relevant policy, and clearly lay out your recommendation and supporting evidence.

In order to craft a compelling argument, you will need:
? An introduction, with a roadmap for your argument
? A thesis statement that distills your argument into its simplest form, possibly in the form of “X should do Y because…”
? Context (Why is change needed?): Identify a problem that can be addressed via policy (the one you propose), and the existing policy landscape (which policies currently impact the situation)
? An argument: Explain your proposed solution, making sure to show how it will improve the context you’ve described
? Critical analysis: What are the pros and cons of your proposal? How does the anticipated payoff justify the costs?
? A conclusion to recap the main points of the argument

This paper should be 5-6 pages in length. Although this is not a long final paper, you are asked to cover a lot of ground in that space, so efficiency is essential.
1. Think tanks regularly publish policy analysis and recommendations. To find a think tank that publishes on your topic, you might visit the University of Pennsylvania Library Guide on Public Policy Research Think Tanks, available at bit.ly/2mrXGCl.
2. Academic studies and government reports. Oftentimes a news article will reference a new study (“Jobs reports show 10% growth this quarter”). If you find information from a news story like this, be sure to find the original study or report, and cite that instead.
3. The Congressional Research Service conducts research for Congress, including policy assessments and evaluations. You might find reports at https://www.everycrsreport.com/, but pay attention to the publication dates to make sure the information is current.
4. You should also try meeting with the librarian liaisons for Political Science (Michael Waldman) and Public Affairs (Rita Ormsby).

The paper should be typed in 12 point Times New Roman font; double-spaced with 1-inch margins.

Citations should be included in endnotes, using Chicago (Notes and Bibliography) style. A final Bibliography should be included at the end. A style guide can be found at https://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html.

Your final draft will be graded according to the following rubric:

Requirement Points
Clearly stated thesis statement that distills argument 5
Strong argument
Introduction and Conclusion 10
Clear Organization 10
Each point of the argument is connected logically 10
Consideration of alternatives/objections 10
Demonstrated knowledge of subject
Solid description of the context/problem 10
Detailed policy proposal 10
Consideration of alternatives/objections 10
Connection between problem and solution 10
Appropriate/Adequate use of sources 5
Clarity of writing 5
Mechanics 5
Total 100