Instead of a final
exam, this course has a policy memo due in Week 8. I want to help shape your
work and scope your research. Please submit a short (no more than
250 word) summary of your policy memo topic during Week 4 of class.
For the memo, you should
imagine that you are a state or city government policy advisor. Your governor
or city mayor needs your boss to brief them on a critical problem facing your
community. You need to develop a memo that will help your boss "get
smart" on the problem and come up with some potential solutions. It is
important to select a topic that is very specific. As an example, selecting
"education reform" is too general. However, looking at whether your
community should expand charter schools or accept new testing standards is
better scoped. This specificity will help with your research too.
The full memo
requirements are under the Assignments Tab along with a memo template plus the
grading rubric to the assignment.
Memo has well-documented supporting facts and demonstrates
proficient command of the subject matter. Memo displays comprehensive analysis
of facts and concepts in logical sequence.
Policy position is clearly defined and well-supported.
Opposing alternatives are considered and rebutted effectively.
Memo shows excellent command of grammar with clear and
concise writing style and extensive understanding of word usage.
Memo incorporates at least of five credible sources
including at least one peer-reviewed source with proper citations.
Imagine you are a state or city
government policy adviser. The governor or city mayor has asked your boss to
brief them on a critical problem facing your community (and therefore one of
your agency's top policy priorities). You need to develop a comprehensive
policy memo that will give your boss:
(1) the critical background information he/she
needs on the issue at hand;
(2) analysis of the influence of the state/city
legislature, the judicial system, and other state/city government agencies on
the formulation and implementation of a specific policy;
(3) an evaluation of the influence that interest
groups, political parties and the media have on the policy at hand;
(4) a set of options/solutions for your boss to
consider regarding a path forward with all these political players (including
pros and cons for each option); and,
(5) a recommended strategy that you want your
boss to present to the governor or mayor to win support for your agency's
To recap, your memo should:
- Clearly and concisely state the problem you
are trying to tackle
- Provide a summary of the current policy
context / relevant background
- Analyze the influence of the state or city
legislature, the judicial system, and other agencies
- Evaluate the influence of interest groups,
political parties, and the media
- Present a set of solutions to the problem for
your boss to consider, including pros and cons for each
- Make a realistic recommendation of one of
those options and provide further justification for why you are saying that
option is the best.