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-Write a position paper that directly answers the policy question:

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POLICY QUESTION: In response to the UTLA strike, should LAUSD reduce class sizes?
Character: US Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos

1. Please see the appendixes below that explains how to write a position paper. The position paper should be 1200-1500 words. It should include a bibliography in MLA or Chicago format.

How to Write a Position Paper

A position paper (or a policy paper) is a type of writing that is used widely in various industries. In its simplest form, a position paper makes a policy claim, telling us what we should do. For this paper, the purpose of writing is to clearly state the answer to the group’s policy question, provide evidence that shows why we should support your policy, and address any real or imagined objections to your argument.

The Details

1. The position papers should be written in the voice of the person you are performing (Betsy Devos). That is, you should write the paper as if you are writing as your character. You should use first person. For example:

In response to this controversy, I argue that, in order to secure democracy for the greatest number of people, we must re-instate the right to vote for all people who have completed their sentences for committing a felony.

(Note here that the “I” is the character.)

2. You will need to do research in order to complete this paper. But, remember, you are not writing a paper of analysis that critiques what this person says. Rather, you have to keep in mind that you are re-presenting the argument of another person. What this means is that the argument you will make will come directly from the research that you do in order to understand their position. For example, if I am presenting the ACLU’s argument about the Patriot Act, I might read their arguments on the ACLU website. Find some place where the person has been interviewed extensively or where they have written something. If a person is quoted once, this is not enough information for you to work with or for you to build an argument. Remember, you are working to re-construct their argument as you draw it from different sources. You should have at least two sources from which you are drawing their argument. Please note that when you are paraphrasing or quoting, even when you are writing as the character, you must correctly cite the information.

e.g., This reason is supported by the idea that “cats are great” (Smith 2015, 20).

3. You should include a bibliography in either MLA format of the sources you used to construct the position paper.

4. This part of the project should be typed, double-spaced, Times New Roman 12-point font, with one-inch margins all the way around. At the top of the page, you should write your name, your character’s name with a one sentence description of their role in the debate, and a final word count.

5. Please see the worksheet for the general outline of the position paper. I should be able to see four areas addressed: (a) introduction; (b) explanation of reasons to accept the claim; (c) objections; and (4) responses to objections. These sections should NOT be marked as this paper is too short. Make sure you’re writing this paper in prose, using substantive transitions to move from one idea to the next.

6. The paper will be graded based on the following elements:

a. The clarity of the introduction
b. Strength of the thesis
c. Identification of the three strongest arguments that support your claim/thesis
d. The presentation and explanation of evidence for your argument
e. Identification of the rebuttal to your claims
f. Strength of the response to the rebuttal
g. Completion of minimum requirements

Position Paper Writing Worksheet

A short-form position paper, like the one you will write for this assignment, will generally have four sections. (A) An introduction in which you describe the controversy, introduce the relevance of your position, and state the thesis. (B) Reasons to accept the claim that are supported by clear evidence and explained. (C) A statement of possible objections to your claim that acknowledges and anticipates objections to your argument. (D) As a way to conclude, you should respond to these objections, demonstrating why your argument is still strong despite these objections and why the target audience should still accept your claim.

This worksheet is meant to provide a guide or outline for your paper. The paper itself must be written in prose form and shouldn’t just be answers to the following questions. You should NOT have headings in your paper. You should instead use substantive transitions that show the logical relationship between the ideas. You will not turn this worksheet in. It is for your use to help structure the paper.

On the top of the position paper please include the following information:

Your name:

Character’s name:

Who is your character and what is their relation to the social controversy:

(A) Introduction

1. Describe the controversy. Did something happen that leads us to ask this policy question? What were the relevant historical facts that leads us to this question? (This should be no more than one paragraph!)

2. How are you (as your character) positioned in relation to this controversy? This is a moment for you to make an ethos claim and to show why you have credibility to speak on the issue.

3. Thesis statement. Answer the (yes/no) question clearly. Explain why your answer is significant.

(B) Reasons to Accept the Claim. You should present the three strongest arguments for why we should accept the claim. Think about this as Yes/No because….
Please note that you should have between 2-3 reasons to accept your claim.

1. First Reason to Accept the Claim:

(a) Evidence to support this claim:

(b) Warrant that explains what the evidence means and how it supports your claim:

2. Second Reason to Accept the Claim:

(a) Evidence to support this claim:

(b) Warrant that explains what the evidence means and how it supports your claim:

3. Third Reason to Accept the Claim:

(a) Evidence to support this claim:

(b) Warrant that explains what the evidence means and how it supports your claim:

(C) Objections (Please note you might have only one objection)

1. First objection someone might make:

a. Explanation of the objection:

b. Evidence to support this objection:

2. Second objection someone might make: (optional)

a. Explanation of the objection:

b. Evidence to support this objection:

(D) Conclusion: Responding to the objections

1. Response to Objection 1:

2. Response to Objection 2: (optional)

3. Why your claim is still strong despite these objections:

Points of clash to consider incorporating (address 1 if possible)

1ST POINT OF CLASH
Allocation of Funding (Towards Public vs. Private Education):
• Betsey DeVos wants to cut funding from public education and allocate more money towards privatizing education (funding charter schools).
• Meanwhile, Lily Eskelsen-Garcia (president of NEA) criticizes DeVos for her allocation of funding towards private education. (NEA: National Education Foundation)

3RD POINT OF CLASH
Not Worth Investing vs. Worth Investing
• Matthew Chingos (VP of the Urban Institute’s Center on Education Data and Policy) doesn’t think it’s worth it to invest millions of dollars in reducing class size. There could be better results shown by using that money towards investing in better quality teachers and more resources for students.
• Meanwhile, William Mathis (Director of the National Education Policy Center) states that it’s worth it to invest a lot of money into reducing class sizes now because it will be more worth it in the long run. As a result of children getting more attention, they develop skills for working in groups and discipline.
• Betsy DeVos would rather allocate funding toward the privatization of education and insinuates that schools would be better off investing in better teachers rather than smaller class sizes. She has said that students can learn sufficiently in a range of settings and that student success is not relative to class size, therefore it is not worth investing in the reduction of class sizes.

Any technical terms or historical info that is necessary to understand
• LAUSD (Los Angeles United School District) is the second largest in the nation and provides education for more than 600,00 students (k-12 grade) at over 1,000 schools https://achieve.lausd.net/about
• TIMELINE FROM LAUSD SIDE: https://achieve.lausd.net/site/default.aspx?PageType=3&DomainID=4&ModuleInstanceID=45663&ViewID=6446EE88-D30C-497E-9316-3F8874B3E108&RenderLoc=0&FlexDataID=73638&PageID=1
• FROM TIMELINE: LAUSD Proposal in regards to class size reduction (was rejected by UTLA on 1/7/2019)
• Additional Funding to Reduce Class Size and Hire 1,000 More Educators
• 2.5x increase in funds to reduce class sizes and hire more counselors, nurses, and librarians, from $30 million to $105 million. The increased funding would have provided almost 1,000 additional educators.
• With those additional staff members, Los Angeles Unified would have been able to:
• Reduce all secondary math and English language classes to below 40 students
• Add one additional academic counselor at each comprehensive high school
• Double nursing services at every elementary school
• Provide library services at every middle school
• Reduce class sizes to 32 students at 75 and 15 of the highest need elementary and middle schools, respectively
• Lower class sizes by 2 in all high schools
• Ensure that no class sizes in grades 4-6 exceed 35 students
• FROM TIMELINE: Los Angeles Unified’s new offer builds on
• Class size accommodations:
• $130 million to add almost 1,200 more educators in schools
• Significantly reduce class size and ensure no increase in any class size
• Reduce class size by two students in all middle schools
• Reduce class size by two students in all high schools
• Cap class size in Grades 4-6, not to exceed 35 students
• Reduce all middle and high school math and English language classes to 39 or fewer students
• Cap class size at 32 students at 75 of the highest-need elementary schools
• Cap class size at 34 at 15 of the highest-need middle schools

Some notes and resources I have collected on her views/background (Further research is necessary to understand how Betsy DeVos would answer the policy question, these are some examples):

***CLARIFY When Quoting directing from Betsy DeVos, continue to write as if you are her. For example, if quoting an interview say, “In a past interview with (…), I stated, ‘…….

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