Walden Library databases.

Assignment: Advocating for Policy Change

The media piece, Advocacy, policy and law: Advocating through policy, affirms that an advocacy position grounded in relevant, current research contributes greatly to the success of an advocacy plan. Additionally, it contributes to your informed influence as a participant in the policy process. In addition to having a professional knowledge that informs your advocacy position, the Rallis et al. reading emphasizes the importance of aligning your intuition, values, and morals to an advocacy cause. The ability to articulate your advocacy position from both research-based and passionate perspectives is important to your credibility as a special education leader and to the success of your advocacy efforts.

The assignment in this module is an opportunity for you to identify and examine a current special education policy issue involving diversity and special needs, as well as starting to think about how you would advocate for a policy solution to address the issue. Through a structured examination of the policy issue and your intuition, values, and morals regarding the policy issue, you will craft a personally and professionally appropriate letter advocating for or against your identified educational or special educational policy issue.

To prepare:

·         Review the excerpt from Rallis, S. F., Rossman, G.B., Cobb, C. D., Reagan, T. G., & Kuntz, A. (2008), as well as the entire assignment. Keep the 5-step reasoning process in mind as you complete the next bullet.

·         Apply this reasoning process in mind as you research proposed educational or SPED policies in current or past legislation. If possible, look for policies that would relate to the case study videos (i.e. cultural diversity, behavior intervention, etc.) you have viewed thus far in your program. To review the videos, enter the Grand City Community and locate West Ridge Middle School, which is found in this module’s Learning Resources.

·         Research the name and contact information for your local and state representatives.

Complete the following steps for this assignment:

Step 1: Consider the following questions prior to drafting your letter to your representatives (be sure to include the answers to these questions in your letter):

·         What is the problem or issue that interests you?

·         What data is available to support the existence of the problem or issue?

·         What Education Policy Planning and Research Community (EPPRC) sources are involved in defining the policy issue?

·         What are the values or ideology evident in the policy issue you have chosen to examine? Include at least one citation that supports your assumption.

·         Who are the proponents and opponents of the proposed policy and why?

·         What evidence exists that demonstrates the policy issue has reached an agenda?

·         How you can use Rallis et al. 5-step reasoning process to inform your position on this policy issue?

Step 2: Draft a letter to your local and state representatives advocating for or against your identified educational or special educational policy. Be sure to include the information prompted by the questions in Step 1 of this assignment.

Step 3: Reflect

·         Write a brief 3- to 5-page overview of how each element of the 5-step reasoning process guided you in the selection of your policy issue and drafting the letter. Summarize what you learned from this assignment that you can apply to your professional role as a Special Education leader.

Required Readings

Fowler, F. C., Hulett, K. E., & Kieff, J. E. (2011). Leadership, advocacy, policy, and law (Laureate Education, custom ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

  • Chapter 6, “The Major Education Policy Actors” (pp. 142–168).
  • Chapter 7, “Setting the Stage and Getting on It: Issue, Definition, and Agenda Setting” (pp.169–196.
  • Chapter 10, “Policy Implementation: ’Getting People to Carry Out Policy” (pp. 271–311).

Kairie, M. W. (2014). The role or policy in the development of special education. International Journal of Progressive Education, 10(3), 86–96.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

A comparative overview of the role that government policy plays in the progress of special education in the United States of America and Kenya.

Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Leading Dynamic Schools: How to Create and Implement Ethical Policies by Rallis, S.F., Rossman, G.B., Cobb, C.D., Reagan, T.G., & Kuntz, A. Copyright 2007 by Sage Publications Inc Books. Reprinted by permission of Sage Publications Inc Books via the Copyright Clearance Center.

  • Chapter 2, “The Choice to Act: Shaping the Dialogue” (pp. 11–24)

. Retrieved from http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

. Retrieved from http://www.usa.gov/Agencies.shtml

Required Media

Grand City Community

  •  [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

. Review the scenario videos.

Laureate Education (Producer). (2011f). Leadership, advocacy, policy, and law: Advocating through policy [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author. https://cdnfiles.laureate.net/2dett4d/managed/WAL/EDDD/8071/03/WAL_EDDD8071_03_A_EN.pdf