Teaching Methods for Introducing Public Policy ResearchCurrent Issue Project for State and Local Government Survey Courses Excellence in Teaching Conference – April 5, 2013 Tarleton State University
Introduction • Project teaches students a basic methodology for policy research • Based on analyses published by CRS or Texas HRO • Guides them in accessing sources and discerning type and quality of sources
Scope of Project • Choosing a Topic • Article Research • Media • History/Background • Government Documents • Qualified Opinion • Political Parties • Research • Report
Media Article • February 6, 2013 – Austin American Statesman • “House education leaders call for sharp reduction in STAAR tests.” House Public Education Committee Chairman Jimmie Don Aycock, R-Killeen, will lead the battle over testing.
History/Background • How the state has used standardized testing • “A Historical Overview of Assessment in Texas”
Government Document • Legislation, Court Decision or Agency Report • HB5 – “Relating to public school accountability, including assessment, and curriculum requirements.”
Qualified Opinion • “Qualified” – Individuals or Interest Groups • “STAAR impedes educating Future-Ready Students” • “For the good of students, compromise on STAAR exam”
Political Parties • “replace the high-stakes tests, used to punish students and schools, with multiple measures that restore the original intent of the state assessment system…
Political Parties • We favor improving the quality of education for all students, including those with special needs. We support a return to the traditional basics of reading, writing, arithmetic, and citizenship with sufficient discipline to ensure learning and quality educational assessment.
Research • The Relationship Between Standardized Test Scores of Socioeconomically Disadvantaged Students in Title I and Non-Title I Schools • by Heier, Sharon L., Ed.D., Walden University, 2011, 101 pages
Current Issue Report • 4-5 pages • Introductory paragraph followed by background, government action, and qualified opinion • Students are encouraged to offer opinion on issue • Report submitted to Turnitin.com and graded with Rubric for content, format, composition, use of articles, and citations
Objectives • Research a topic of interest • Learn a basic methodology for policy research • Understand the importance of engaging with policy issues in relation to citizenship • Recognize the role of government in relation to major and vocational goals • Know essential sources for policy research using digial resources • Conduct basic policy research in upper level courses