For the Policy Course, GCE Juniors investigated the following guiding question:

How do we contextualize the need for a policy?

Here’s the scenario students were challenged with:

The city’s aldermen have put out a call for resolutions regarding places in the city that need urgent attention regarding the issues of housing, infrastructure, and basic services.

For the resolutions, the aldermen request explanatory papers that focus on the problems, presenting research and relevant data, as well as at least 3 pictures illustrating the issue.

The idea is not to share solutions, but to call the attention to urgent issues, which will be reviewed by a group of aldermen and, then, prioritized and brought to an open forum at later dates.

Please click on the images of different neighborhoods on the North Side of Chicago in the map below. And leave a comment about what resolution you would wish to pass in your own neighborhood.

 

Alignment with Common Core Standards

Writing Standards

W 11-12.1: Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.

a. Introduce precise, knowledgeable claim(s), establish the significance of the claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and create an organization that logically sequences claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.

b. Develop claim(s) and counterclaims fairly and thoroughly, supplying the most relevant evidence for each while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both in a manner that anticipates the audience’s knowledge level, concerns, values, and possible biases.

c. Use words, phrases, and clauses as well as varied syntax to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships between claim(s) and reasons, between reasons and evidence, and between claim(s) and counterclaims.

d. Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline in which they are writing.

e. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented.

Speaking and Listening Standards

SL 11-12.1: Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11–12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

a. Come to discussions prepared, having read and researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence from texts and other research on the topic or issue to stimulate a thoughtful, well- reasoned exchange of ideas.

b. Work with peers to promote civil, democratic discussions and decision- making, set clear goals and deadlines, and establish individual roles as needed.

c. Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that probe reasoning and evidence; ensure a hearing for a full range of positions on a topic or issue; clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions; and promote divergent and creative perspectives.

d. Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives; synthesize comments, claims, and evidence made on all sides of an issue; resolve contradictions when possible; and determine what additional information or research is required to deepen the investigation or complete the task.

Reading Standards for Informational Text

RI 11-12.7: Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words in order to address a question or solve a problem.

RI 11-12.8: Delineate and evaluate the reasoning in seminal U.S. texts, including the application of constitutional principles and use of legal reasoning (e.g., in U.S. Supreme Court majority opinions and dissents) and the premises, purposes, and arguments in works of public advocacy (e.g., The Federalist, presidential addresses).

Image Map


Policy

Policy informs students how to use both rhetoric and argument to agree on a common good, so that living together is sustainable and nurturing. In this course, you will study the decades-long civil rights movement in the U.S. and international social ju …


Learn more about our Policy Course