Stop the Bullies

Stop the Bullies

A Chapter by Debbie Barry
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An essay about the stakeholders in public policy about bullying in schools. Written for EDU 108: Introduction to Policy & Education.

"

Stop the Bullies


December 2, 2009


 

In the case study "Stop the Bullies" (Fowler, 2009, 164-165), I identified nine separate policy stakeholders that fit descriptions in our text.  I initially identified parents and teachers as stakeholders, since they do have a stake in the policies that are enacted, but I did not find appropriate labels for non-organized parents and teachers, as such, in the text, so I did not include them in my final list.

I identified one stakeholder from the legislative branch, about which Fowler (2009) says: "[f]ifty-one legislatures exist in the United States: the U.S. Congress and the fifty state legislatures ... A major function of every legislature is, of course, the development and passage of statutes ... [and] legislatures often hold hearings where experts provide testimony on public issues" (142).  In the case study, I indentified the Ohio General assembly as being a policy stakeholder from the legislative branch because the Ohio General Assembly is Ohio's legislative body.  Fowler (2009) states that "the legislature as a whole [is] quite influential in relation to education policy" (145-146).

In the case study, I identified two stakeholders from the executive branch.  Fowler (2009) tells us that "[a]lthough Marshall et al. (1989) found that governors have considerably less influence on education policy than the legislature, their influence is nonetheless substantial" (146).  I identified Governor Taft as one policy stakeholder from the executive branch.  "Governor Taft appointed a Commission for Student Success to study the issue and make recommendations" (Fowler, 2009, 164).  In doing so, he interacted strongly with the policy process in this case.  I also identified the State Board of Education as a policy stakeholder from the executive branch.  Fowler (2009) states that "State Boards of Education (SBEs) ... have an important administrative role and ... SBEs are second only to legislatures in exercising direct authority over education policy at the state level" (147).

Under the local government heading, I identified "[a]dministrators and their organizations" (Fowler, 2009, 164).  "[M]ore superintendents are becoming active in the state-level policy-making process and seeking to give state officials advice about policy development and evaluation" (Fowler, 2009, 151).  The case study identifies two specific superintendents who complained about the situation that was created by the excessive testing and reporting requirements, and also states that "[a]dministrators and their organizations began to criticize both the tests and the district report cards publicly" (Fowler, 2009, 164).

I identified three interest groups in the case study: the grassroots group "Stop Ohio Proficiency Tests," the Commission for Student Success, and the Ohio School Board Association.  Thomas and Hrebenar (2004) identified an interest group as "an association of individuals or organizations ... that, on the basis of one or more shared concerns, attempts to influence public policy in its favor" (Thomas and Hrebenar, 2004, cited in Fowler, 2009, 152).  Of these, the Commission for Student Success and the Ohio School Board Association are education interest groups, and "Stop Ohio Proficiency Tests" is a type of noneducation interest group called a single-issue ideological group.  Fowler (2009) tells us that "in recent years, single-issue ideological groups ... have grown in influence in many states" (154).  In the case study, we see that members of "Stop Ohio Proficiency Tests" "wrote numerous letters to newspaper editors, appeared on television, gave testimony before the State Board of Education, and held noisy demonstrations on the lawn of the state capitol" (Fowler, 2009, 164).  By doing these things, and thus engaging other policy stakeholders in their concerns, the members of "Stop Ohio Proficiency Tests" exercised a great deal of influence on the policy process.

Under policy planning organizations, which Weiss (1992) says "gather empirical data about public policy issues and then communicate those findings to governments" (Weiss, 1992, cited in Fowler, 2009, 155), I identified the Commission for Student Success, which was set up by Governor Taft.  "[Policy-planning organizations] are arguably the most important actors in the policy process" (Fowler, 2009, 155), so the Commission was certainly an important stakeholder in the case study.

Finally, I identified the media as a policy stakeholder in the case study.  "The mass media ... not only report on policy issues and some stages of the policy process, but are also important actors in it ... Often, such media attention leads the general public and political figures to become so concerned about a problem that they insist it be addressed" (Fowler, 2009, 156).  When the members of "Stop Ohio Proficiency Tests" "wrote numerous letters to newspaper editors, [and] appeared on television" (Fowler, 2009, 164), they utilized the media to have a strong impact on the policy process.

 


References:


Fowler, F.C. (2009). Policy Studies for Educational Leaders: An Introduction (3rd ed). Boston:    Allyn & Bacon.




© 2017 Debbie Barry



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Debbie Barry
Debbie Barry

Clarkston, MI



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I live with my husband in southeastern Michigan with our two cats, Mister and Goblin. We enjoy exploring history through French and Indian War re-enactment and through medieval re-enactment in the So.. more..

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