The Role of a Solicited Public in Developing Educational Policy
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With many students statewide entering high school unprepared, NY State's Board of Regents solicited an extensive and inclusive public for ideas on curricula and student supports that can best prepare middle grade students. I investigate three questions: What are the challenges in mounting a statewide public engagement process and how were they met? How are the Regents influenced by the output? How is the feedback reflected in policy decisions? Despite huge effort, the engagement process had limited influence. The investigation illuminates through triangulated modes of inquiry aspects of the public engagement process that potentially go unnoticed: 1) Absent clearly enunciated purpose for public engagement, agency staff and managers made important decisions about who the public is, what to ask the public, and how to present public comment to the decision makers. 2) In anticipation of abundant and conflicting feedback, a soliciting agency needs a plan for how it will collect and format what the publics say. 3) Perspectives held by the soliciting agency and "task environment" can constrain how the process is conducted and the way the output is communicated.
Author Mark Barth
Product type Paperback