May-Can-Should

Question

RESEARCH PAPER INSTRUCTIONS

Instead of focusing on just one policy analysis proposal, you must discuss 2, and only 2, pieces of legislation for solving your chosen policy problem. Accordingly, you must pay close attention to the grading rubric and use the Research Paper Template to properly format your paper. Both documents are provided. Also note the Policy Brief vs. Final Paper comparison document for clarification on the similarities and differences between the Final Paper and the Policy Brief.

Sample paper

May-Can-Should

Abstract

Different policies and laws have different provisions and impacts on the lives of the people. The Collective Worship Policy compels students to a predetermined manner and way of worship largely based on the Christianity.  On the other hand, The No Child Left Behind law compels individual states to design school accountability systems through an annual assessment of these schools.  Having faced increased criticism in the recent past, this assignment will attempt to identify the provisions and impact of these education policies.

Defining the Problem

Overview

The education sector in the US has been one of the closely followed sectors in the recent past as the country seeks to create a pool of skilled and educated people who can help with economic growth and development in the country. However, just like any other sector, the education sector has been facing constant challenges that undermine its working and success. Education policies comprise of the principles and government policies in the education sector of the country as well set of laws, rules, and regulations that govern the operation of the education system (O’Brien, 2013). However, in the recent past, the two of the major education policies in the country, namely, the compulsory worship in school policy as well as the no child left behind act has been receiving public criticism.  Most of the people believe that despite the fact that these two major policies were passed by the Congress in an attempt to protect the rights and interest of the children; they are not fully adhered to and implemented both in the public and private schools in the company. According to the compulsory worship in school policy, children particularly the younger ones should not be compelled to put their hands together and pray to a God they have little or no concept of. Just like grownups, children have the right and freedom to worship and should not be supervised or compelled to any form of worship. On the other hand, the no child left behind law gives the federal government the power and the authority to hold schools accountable for the student’s outcome (DeMoss & Wong, 2013). The primary goal of this policy was to improve and enhance American competitiveness while at the same time closing the gap

Root Causes

After the 9/11 attacks on the US everything changed as most of the Muslims were discriminated and segregated, and up to date, most of them are often associated with terrorism. Therefore, it has increasingly become a culture in most American schools to force their students to worship in a certain manner to a certain form of God which illegal. According to the collective worship policy, it is against the law for a teacher or other individual in a school to compel the students to pray and worship to a good or in a certain manner he or she feels that is righteous and best. However, it is worth acknowledging the fact that the fight against terrorism in the US has substantially influenced the way children pray at school (Walsh, 2007). On the other hand, in the wake of constant segregation of people living with disabilities, the Congress found it necessary to pass laws and policies that protect all students from any form of segregation irrespective of their physical appearance. Therefore, the no child left behind policy helps in ensuring that all students get the necessary skills and knowledge by giving the state the power and authority to test students in reading and math from as low as grade 3 through grade 8 and once in high school. Such compulsory exercise ensures that the gap between the rich and poor is closed by ensuring that all students in the country have access to education and other teaching facilities irrespective of their age and historical, physical and financial background (Martin, 2016).

Competing Interpretations

It is still a legal requirement that all students participate in a daily worship, which is to be wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian character. However, this legal requirement has been for long be problematic for most parents who feel that they are responsible for the religious upbringing of their children and should significantly contribute to the religious lives of their children. History shows that compulsory worship has been compulsory for all students in the states since 1944. According to the law, all schools in the states even the non-faith schools should hold a collective worship every single day. The No Child Left Behind law gives authority and power to several federal education programs are under the watch and guidance of the states. The law can be described as a reauthorization of the elementary and secondary education act (Ryan, 2011). The primary focus of this law is ensuring that most, if not all, students in an institution close the achievement gap through the provision of a fair, equal and substantial chance to obtain and gather high quality and standard education.

Impacts

The No Child Left Behind law compelled all schools in the US to design and implement school-accountability systems that are entirely based on annual students’ assessment outcomes. The No Child Left Behind law can be described as one of the far-reaching education policy initiatives in the US over the last four decades. The law has assisted in improving the level and quality of education in the country by introducing state standards to establish educational institutions that are failing to make adequate yearly progress towards the pre-determined objectives of having all the learners achieve proficiency in reading and math (Arweck & Penny, 2015). Notably, to motivate schools and other learning institutions to remain on track and improve the level of education in the country, the federal government has the authority and mandate to institute sanctions and rewards to learning institutions based on their adequate yearly progress. Therefore, poorly performing schools are likely to get sanctions to act as a motivating factor while the best performing schools often get rewarded to congratulate them for the great work done. On the other hand, collective worship policy has been at the center of the transformation in most schools as the government seeks to transform institutions and students outside the pressures of the curriculum but within the school day. This policy provides the perfect context where students and teachers can socialize in a variety of contexts and consider itself regarding the great ideas and events of the world (Russo, n.d.). Additionally, the policy gives an opportunity for an institution to see its life and the lives of both the learners and instructors as part and parcel of the rich tapestry of human experience and existence.

Policy Alternatives

  1. The Collective Worship Policy
  2. The No Child Left Behind law.

 

May

The Collective Worship Policy

Biblical guidelines biblical guidelines of worship are entirely based on the teaching of the Bible regarding worship and adoration of God. According to the bible, having a theology of worship is important in human life considering that not everything that is regarded as worship is worship, referring to the case of Abel and Cain in the bible. Under the Mosaic Law, Israel operated under a theocracy which means that their success or failure was largely  based on their obedience to God. Notably, the freedom of worship was not part of the Old Testament, considering that God ruled the Israelites directly through his servants such as Moses and Joshua. However, in the New Testament, God ordained the role of government, which revolves around punishing wrongdoers in the society while at the same time rewarding good deed as well as rendering justice to the society. It is worth noting that at no point in the bible that God or Jesus has given duties and responsibilities of enforcing a particular way of worship in any form of government (Blomgren, n.d). This means that people around the world have the right and freedom of worship, to worship whom they want in the manner they want and see fit. Notably, there are no conflicts between biblical and civic principles of worship as individuals are given the opportunity and power to choose the right way to worship as they see fit. In the same tone, students in schools should not be compelled or forced to worship in a particular manner that the teachers or a particular individual in the institution see fit (Blomgren, n.d). According to the bible, no one single government has been given the power and authority to enforce any form of worship. Therefore, parents and their children should be given the opportunity to choose their way and manner of worship.

Constitutional guidelines – the first amendment of the United States says that the Congress has the power and authority to make no law or policy regarding the establishment of religion, prohibiting the free exercise of worship. Therefore, it is illegal for the government to compel schools to adopt and implement compulsory worship policy considering that by doing so it would be making laws regarding the establishment of a religion and the mode of worship adopted by schools. As stated earlier on, the constitution requires all schools even the non-faith schools to participate in a daily act of worship which is broadly Christianity thus giving little or no chance to other religions such as Islamic and Jewish (Dunn, n.d). However, since the ratification of the bill of rights, Americans is increasingly enjoying the freedom of worship and religion, and this should be reciprocated to children who are not aware of their civic rights and freedoms. Considering that the entire US constitution is based on the biblical teaching, and then it should provide a conducive environment for all religions even to the students.

 

The No Child Left Behind law

Biblical guidelines – one of the wisest men to have graced the universe is narrated in the Bible in the form of King Solomon which only emphasizes the importance and need of education and need. Over and over again, the Bible insists the need for education and wisdom in hum life considering that Jesus Himself has to learn to gain knowledge. Historically and for years, the church has substantially supported education and other teaching and training programs in a variety of contexts and events all in the attempt of improving the mind of the learners. John Calvin one of the famous and important Christian reformers strongly encouraged universal education, believing and hoping that every student irrespective of their background has right to education and training in reading, writing, math, and grammar (Schüssler & Richards, 2010). According to the bible, education is essential not only to understand the nature of the world that we live in but also to understand the scriptures of the bible. Therefore, all children have a right to equal and fair education opportunities as educators and instructors help to broaden their thinking and understanding of the universe and the bible. In the book of Proverbs, the son is told to listen and heed the teaching of his father’s teachings and education so that he can be in a position to apply the knowledge gained in all his activities (Schüssler & Richards, 2010).

Constitutional guidelines – it is worth noting that education may not be a fundamental right under the US constitution, but that does not mean that it is not important to the nation. According to the 14th amendment, when a state establishes a public school system, no child living in that state should be denied equal access to the new education system. The 14th amendment requires all states in the US to provide protection and other social amenities to all people living and working in that particular state. This means that the constitution requires the federal government in the country, not only to provide education facilities and access to all education institutions but also to monitor the performances of different educational institutions to ensure that they meet the standards set by the state (Dee & Jacob, 2010). Notably, different states have different education systems which only encourage competitiveness among the students. Therefore, The No Child Left Behind law is in line with US constitution and focuses on the promotion of quality education in the country.

 

Can

 The Collective Worship Policy

Political feasibility – the issue of compulsory worship in schools can be described as an ongoing debate not only in the Congress but among the ordinary citizens. There are those who feel that by proposing and stating a mode of worship that should be practiced in the school, the government is practically infringing their rights and freedom. Additionally, the policy is increasingly becoming unpopular among most individuals as they feel that it leads to favoritism and segregation of other religions in the country.

Financial feasibility – research shows that billions of dollars have been spent not only by the Congress, but also the judiciary as different arms of the government try to interpret this policy in the best interest of the people. In the recent past, there have been cases of the top judges in the country ruling against the favor of this policy. As a result, the Congress has taken up the initiative to put an end to this discrimination of other religions and forceful worship in schools.  $ 15 billion has been spent so far, and there is an estimation of additional $5 billion to be spent before the policy can be completely and successfully changed (Joyce, 2017). However, it is assumed that the time spent and money spent in the court to challenge this policy will significantly reduce thus save the country lots of money and time to concentrate on other things.

Practical feasibility – since 1944, most, if not all education centers to date have been adhering to this controversial policy. However, in the recent past schools have been slowly resisting and abandoning the provision of this provision.  While the government may feel that it must protect the young children, the parents are increasingly becoming aware of the forceful worship that their children have to face every single day in school. Notably, some of these practices are not in line with the parent’s beliefs and faith, thus making it difficult for them to see the need and importance of this policy in school. Therefore, the government has a responsibility to review the policy to make it comfortable for all parents and children (Mogra, 2016).

The No Child Left Behind law

Political feasibility – despite the fact that this policy has the best interest at heart for the students, it has occasionally been referred to one of the most controversial policies in the United States owing to the different educational programs and systems in different states. The policy having been signed by President Bush has attracted criticism from different political sectors from those who feel that enough is not provided to improve the accountability and transparency of the education system in the country (Gardiner, Canfield-Davis, & Anderson, 2008). Notably, over the years, the government has increasingly changed the provision of this law to suit the needs of different students in different states in the country.

Financial feasibility – millions of dollars have been spent not only by the Congress, but also by the federal government because education is not one of the fundamental rights in the constitution. Therefore, every state has a duty of designing and implementing educational programs that suit the needs and interest of the students in the region this means that different states have different standards and quality of education provided owing to the state’s standards and policies. Research shows that both the national and federal government spends close to 635 dollars per year on education programs.

Practical feasibility – The No Child Left Behind law has had a significant impact on the quality and standard of education provided in the upcountry. According to research the application of this policy has increased accountability by ensuring that those students who are disadvantaged achieve academic proficiency. This has increased the level and number of skilled labor in the country (Clarke & Pagano, 2009).

Should

The Collective Worship Policy

The government must find common ground where all the stakeholders in the education sector are happy and satisfied with the policy. Therefore, through the Congress, the government should find a way to create a policy that supports worship in all learning institutions, but should not compel the student to follow a particular god or manner of worship. The freedom and rights of the people, particularly the students should not be compromised.

The No Child Left Behind law

Despite the fact that the government has done a lot to improve the quality and standard of education in the country, it should standardize the education system in the country rather than giving the federal government such responsibilities. Having common standards can substantially increase the quality of education countrywide while at the same time improving unity and integration among different states (Clarke & Pagano, 2009).

Summary

Both the No Child Left Behind law and The Collective Worship Policy have a significant effect on the success and excellence of the education system in the country. Despite facing several challenges, the government through the constitution, which is based on the biblical teachings should review these policies to ensure that they promote equality and fairness to all.

References

Arweck, E., & Penny, G. (2015). Young People’s Attitudes to Religious Diversity: Socialising Agents and Factors Emerging from Qualitative and Quantitative Data of a Nation-Wide Project in the UK. Journal of Intercultural Studies, 36(3), 255-273. doi:10.1080/07256868.2015.1029890

Blomgren, D. K. (n.d.). Worship In Biblical Perspective: A Five-Part Television Series On Areas Of Worship. doi:10.2986/tren.002-0287

Clarke, S. E., & Pagano, M. A. (2009). Statement of Editorial Policy. Urban Affairs Review, 45(1), 141-141. doi:10.1177/10780874090450011001

Dee, T. S., & Jacob, B. A. (2010). The Impact of No Child Left Behind on Students, Teachers, and Schools. Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, 2010(2), 149-194. doi:10.1353/eca.2010.0014

DeMoss, K., & Wong, K. K. (2013). Money, Politics, and Law. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis.

Dunn, J. (n.d.). The claim to freedom of conscience: freedom of speech, freedom of thought, freedom of worship? The History of Political Theory and other essays, 100-120. doi:10.1017/cbo9780511621994.007

Gardiner, M. E., Canfield-Davis, K., & Anderson, K. L. (2008). Urban School Principals and the ‘No Child Left Behind’ Act. The Urban Review, 41(2), 141-160. doi:10.1007/s11256-008-0102-1

Joyce, T. (2017). HAS THE “NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND” POLICY POSITIVELY IMPACTED STUDENT PERFORMANCE? Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 36(2), 460-460. doi:10.1002/pam.21973

Martin, D. (2016). Music and the Aesthetic in Worship and Collective Singing: England since 1840. Society, 53(6), 647-655. doi:10.1007/s12115-016-0078-5

Mogra, I. (2016). Perceptions of the value of Collective Worship amongst trainee teachers in England. Journal of Beliefs & Values, 37(2), 172-185. doi:10.1080/13617672.2016.1185227

O’Brien, T. (2013). Promoting Positive Behaviour. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis.

Russo, C. J. (n.d.). No Child Left Behind Act. Encyclopedia of Education Law. doi:10.4135/9781412963916.n263

Ryan, J. E. (2011). Five miles away, a world apart: One city, two schools, and the story of educational opportunity in modern America. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Schüssler, F. E., & Richards, K. H. (2010). Transforming graduate biblical education: Ethos and discipline. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature.

Walsh, M. (2007). What do I do when–: The answer book on the No Child Left Behind Act. Horsham, PA: LRP Publications.

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