For up to 1 point of extra credit, use the Crit Chart below (Critical Analysis Coaching Chart) to compare your DB post to Maseray’s DB post. The BEST way to improve your work is to compare it to an “A” sample.
If you “slap at it” (as my grandma used to say), you may get partial credit, but to get the full point, I really need to see an “AHA” moment of you understanding why your post was not an “A” (or A+) and how you could genuinely improve your post.
Complete this task by Sunday night at midnight if you plan to do this.
DISCUSSION BOARD INSTRUCTIONS
- Post Requirements:
- For the weeks that we have discussion boards, you will post on Sunday night by midnight. Each post should be well-developed, well-organized, and well-formatted, and free of writing errors. The post should demonstrate that you have truly mastered the concepts and readings involved, and that you can apply them to a real-world policy issue. These posts will feed into Assignment #1 and #2, so take time to develop them with adequate thought and reflection.
- Posts are generally from 400-500 words, though there is no word count requirement per se.
Week 5 DB Post Assignment:
From the “reality check” articles,
- How is policy really made at the state level?
- Did they use the policy analysis system proposed by Kraft & Furlong?
If state legislators aren’t using policy analysis,
- What other groups may be using it (e.g., which agencies or non-profits
- <Give examples where possible, and think through the policy actors you learned about in Kraft & Furlong>).
Maseray’s DB Post:
Week 5 DB Post
Kraft & Furlong (2013), described the steps in policy analysis as first defining the problem, then constructing policy alternatives for the problem, after which, you develop the criteria by which to evaluate the problem and the policy alternatives, the alternatives are then carefully assessed before finally choosing the most desirable policy option for your problem (p.118). Based on the three AJC articles, it does not appear that the state of Georgia legislative body uses the policy analysis process discussed in Kraft & Furlong (2013). The “Private voice, public policy…” article by Ariel Hart and Alan Judd (May 17, 2009), discussed the unfair advantage and unbelievable influence that a single contracting company, C.W. Matthews Contracting Co., has on GA state legislators. The “Seductive Influence…” article by Alan Judd and Nancy Badertscher (January 10, 2010), discussed the inappropriate relationships between lobbyists and legislators and the influence of lobbyist and special interest groups on getting a state legislator to push for policies that serve the interest of small elite groups. The “$37 million land deals…” article by Tim Eberly (August 02, 2009), discussed state legislators unethically pushing for land deals that added unnecessary cost to taxpayers and have not befitted taxpayers. The highlight of all three articles is that the state of GA policy-making process is greatly influenced by the Elite policy theory, where policy decisions are shaped by a few elite policy actors, with little influence from the general public (Kraft and Furlong, 2013).
Think Tanks, also known as independent research institutes, use the policy analysis process. In dealing with complex public issues, policymakers in the U.S and globally have been known to use Think Tank researched studies to aid in the policy development process. One such complex public issue in which U.S. policymakers have used studies from policy analysis organizations, is the welfare reform. The Heritage Foundation and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities were two such Think Tank organizations used in evaluating the reformed welfare program Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), which was changed from Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) in 1996 via the Personal Responsibility Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (Kraft and Furlong, 2013, p.127).
Hart, A., & Judd, A. (2009, May 17). Private voice, public policy; Road builder paves way to Capitol clout; Ga.’s largest contractor uses access to argue transportation agenda.; C.W. Matthews finds state a willing partner. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, p. 1A.
Judd, A., &Badertscher, N. (2010, January 10). A seductive influence; Lobbyist-legislator intimacy is longtime part of Capitol culture.; Calls to end that costly, cozy bond are old, too. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, p. 1A.
Eberly, T. (2009, August 2). $37 million land deals questioned; 0 Gwinnett commission paid top dollar for park properties. District attorney will ask the grand jury to probe. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, p. 1A.
Kraft, M. E., & Furlong, S. R. (2013). Public policy: politics, analysis, and alternatives. Washington (D.C.): CQ press.
- From the “reality check” articles, how is policy really made at the state level?
From the reality check articles, it is clear that policy-making at the state level is influenced by external forces which have interests in how the policy will impact their businesses, organizations, political or any other socio-economic interests. Lobbyists set the agenda and greatly influence what the policy should contain. Most legislators have been compromised by lobbyists who divert public interest issues and other vital issues that should have been incorporated in any policy. Corruption is another big problem that influences policymaking. Well-connected individuals and interested parties pay committees and commissions to inflate figures, insert clauses, change appraisals or even supply their appraisals. In summary, state legislators are used by interested parties to make policies.
- Did they use the policy analysis system proposed by Kraft & Furlong?
The rational decision-making model by Kraft &Furlong which outlines five steps for analyzing policy issues before decisions are made is not used by state legislators. The steps which the legislators ought to have used include identification of the problem with a purpose of defining and analyzing it, coming up with different policy alternatives, establishing the criteria for evaluation, assessing the different generated alternatives and finally coming up with the conclusion. These steps have proved difficult for most public-sector stakeholders such as legislators, head of governments, technocrats, and bureaucrats in various government institutions.
- If state legislators aren’t using policy analysis, what other groups may be using it?
The model by Kraft &Furlong is closely followed by players in non-governmental organizations such as civil society, support groups, research organizations, faith-based organizations, and women advocacy groups among others. Examples of these bodies include International Justice Mission, First Response Team of America, Oxfam, Red Cross, Greenpeace and International Union for Conservation of Nature among others. From the ‘reality-check’ articles, it is clear that public participation as an important concept of policymaking is ignored or if it exists it is just done to deceive participants. Public participation is a critical part of policymaking since it aids in building trust, voiding disputes and confrontations and enhancing transparency in the entire process. A policy without the support of the majority of stakeholders is bound to fail or become weak. Most legislators are always manipulated by different interest groups and individuals.
CRIT CHART (CRITICAL ANALYSIS COACHING CHART)
Thanks for agreeing to do this additional work so that we can get you to the level you need to be at to thrive in the program.
STEP 1. For each item in the table, review your essay and compare it to the “A” sample provided. How did yours differ from the “A” sample?
|YOUR WORK||“A” SAMPLE|
|How long are the responses?|
|How did the authors use examples to prove their points?|
|How did each author use the text to support their ideas?|
|How did each author organize their essay?|
|How did the authors demonstrate strong understanding and mastery of the course readings, if applicable?|
|How well did the assignment match the requirements laid out in the syllabus or elsewhere?|
|If applicable, how well did the assignment match any samples provided by the instructor?|
|How much detail is provided?|
|How is the work cited or referenced?|
|How solid is the writing itself (e.g., typos, grammatical errors, etc.)|
|What is the tone (professional/analytic, personal, opinion-based…)|
|Quality of the research (depth of research, legitimacy of the sources, etc.)|
STEP 2. Overall, what is the difference between the “A” sample and your assignment? How would you change your assignment in the future to reach the next level? (a one or two paragraph response is fine)