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Education Policy: Theory and Practice

Education Policy: Theory and Practice

Decision Papers: Applied Policy Analysis
Module One Assignment
Background:
The purposes of this assignment are to develop (1) an overview of a current education issue in Canada, (2) one’s proficiency in analyzing those issues, and (3) one’s perspective about alternative approaches to resolving those issues.
The Decision Note assignment tries to simulate the process that is followed in government or school districts in preparing information for the decision of government/school district officials or politicians/ trustees. In the context of ministries of Education a decision note is sometimes termed a Cabinet Paper or a Cabinet Submission. This is because it is a brief provided to decision makers to elicit a decision on a particular policy issue.
To carry out and derive maximum benefit from the assignment, you should identify an educational policy issue that has received attention in the local context or in the Canadian popular media (e.g., television, radio, newspaper, or mass circulation magazine) during the past year. Think about some galvanizing issues:
• Whether (or how to) to permit cell phone use in a school(s)/board/province and under what circumstances?
• Whether (or how to) to establish Gay-Straight Alliances in Intermediate Schools?
• Whether (or the extent to which) to permit the religious observances in a school(s)/board/province (whether Christian, Islamic, Hindu, Jewish)?
• Whether to ban certain clothing from a dress code?
• Whether to extend (or reduce) bussing distances (and to what extent)
• And the list goes on….
What is the significance of the issue?
You should attempt to discern why the issue is considered important enough to receive attention by the media. You should be able to explain whether you think the issue is of significance and your reasons for your judgment.
You will need to think carefully and deeply about the issue and the factors that are at play. Consider carefully the context in which the issue arose, taking into account the events and surrounding conditions t