A 3.5 to 5 page proposal related to one of the themes identified in Educated by Tara Westover. Your paper will be written in four parts: introduction, problem, solution, justification.
Your task for Paper 3 is to research one of the themes identified in Educated, identify a problem within that broad theme, and propose a solution to that problem. You can choose a problem that impacts you directly. Consider the impact of that issue and who might have the power to affect change on that issue. Your paper will be written to whomever has the authority to implement your solution. The audience for this project must be a real one: possibilities include a single person (i.e., the dean of a college board or a particular lawmaker) or a relevant organization that has the power to make your project happen (i.e.neighborhood council, school board,etc). Remember that the core of proposal writing is identifying how a problem affects an audience. As you begin, consider how you will problematize your topic for your audience.
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The Extended Description
This paper is organized into and written in four sections: Introduction, Problem, Solution, Justification. Use subheadings to keep the sections organized. The sections:
- The introduction section is where you introduce your audience to your proposal. Introduce the topic and very briefly talk about the problem and solution (be careful not to get too specific! The remaining sections are where you can elaborate.) Conclude your Introduction with your thesis for the paper.
- The problem section is where you detail the specifics of a problem for your target audience. Seek to establish a thorough understanding of the complexity of the problem and demonstrate how it is problematic for your audience.
- The solution section is where you present a clear response to fix the problem. Consider using steps or phases to help you explain the order of a plan or procedure. Consider this Module’s notes about Logos.
- The justification section is where you argue for your solution. In this section, explain why your proposed solution is the best option, considering the circumstances.
There will conceivably be plenty of upfront research concerning the issue and the appropriate audience. You should begin gathering sources that help you describe the problem you have identified and explain its history and significance. You must include at least three sources you have found on your own; the sources can be used anywhere in your proposal. You may use Educated as an additional source.
- At least 3.5 pages in length.
- Typed and double spaced, using Times New Roman font, size 12 font, 1-inch margins
- Include a title that announces topic and hints at thesis
- Integrate and Cite, in-text, 3 sources. At least 2 of the sources must be scholarly/academic.
- Include a correctly formatted Works Cited page
- The Works Cited page does not count toward the required page length.
Here is an example. Please note that this paper is not 100% perfect and merely offers you an example as to how a former student approached this assignment. The topic for this paper is different from your own, but the structure is the same.
Higher Wages for Public School Teachers in America
Problem: Teachers don’t make the money they deserve
Teachers fill an important role in our society and they unfortunately face the issue of low pay. The United States Board of Education needs to take action on this issue since it has been prominent for quite some time now. It is well-known that all around America teacher salary is far too low for the work that primary and secondary public school teachers are doing. Teachers often work more than eight hours a day and are not compensated for the extra time they spend putting together lesson plans and grading assignments.
In addition, teachers have to purchase their own supplies for their classroom and their students. This is problematic since teachers are already getting paid the bare minimum and on top of that, have to spend money out of pocket for things that are necessary for student achievement. This issue is serious due to the fact that low pay steers people away from the education field, even if it is someone’s true passion. This then leads to classrooms full of students with no teacher or a teacher who is not necessarily qualified or passionate about the job.
In an article by writer and journalist Scott Craven he states “she saw firsthand the sacrifices the profession demands. She and her siblings grew up without the nice clothes or yearly vacations of their friends, things the family could not afford on her mom’s salary as a teacher” (Craven). Scott Craven is talking about a young girl who has the passion to become a teacher but is hesitant due to the fact that she grew up with a mother who was a teacher and saw all of the difficulties she faced throughout life since she did not have fair hours or wages. This girl was born to be a teacher but did not want to pursue the education field since she was afraid of wasting time and money in college to end up making money that someone with only a high school diploma can make.
On top of all of the issues previously mentioned, the U.S. also does not pay teachers fairly when comparing teacher salaries with other countries around the world. In some countries teachers are even held to the same status as doctors and make salaries that reflect that. Dick Startz, a professor of economics at the University of California, Santa Barbara did a study that compared U.S. teacher salaries with other teacher salaries in other countries. In his article he declares “being a teacher has both more prestige and better working conditions in other industrialized countries than here at home” (Startz).
Solution: Competitive pay, incentive programs, and mentor programs
One solution to low teacher pay is competitive salary. Teacher pay is often based on seniority, which leaves new teachers at a loss until they are experienced enough to make more money annually. Competitive pay relies on factors within the classroom instead of simply focusing on how long a teacher has been teaching. This should be implemented in all schools to make it fair for all new teachers who are just starting out.
Another resolution would be implementing incentive programs all around the U.S. to reward teachers for the hard work they are doing. In places like Denver, these programs already exist and they are put in place to motivate teachers to go above and beyond. One example is a monthly bonus to teachers who work in schools that are harder to work at, such as schools that are in poverty. Another example is a one-time bonus for teachers who get hired at top performing schools (Teacher). This type of program would also involve day to day incentives for teachers who do something extraordinary during their work day. This could even be as simple as a twenty dollar bonus for the day.
The last solution to propose is mentor programs. Mentor programs would be put in place to help both new and veteran teachers. This would involve partnering a brand new teacher with a seasoned teacher in the same classroom and it would ultimately be co-teaching. A writer on economics, Sophie Quinton says “there are other things states can do to close the gap [on teacher compensation], such as establishing residency programs, akin to those for young doctors, to give new teachers more support” (Quinton).
Justification: Why should these ideas be implemented?
To start off, competitive salary would create more opportunity for new teachers since it is based on how well the teacher’s students are performing, how well the teacher is performing themself, and also what the teachers are doing in order to better their student’s individual learning in the classroom. This strategy would also need to change some things about testing. Instead of the standardized tests students are required to take as of right now, tests would involve improvement in a specific period of time. Walter Boasso, former Louisiana state senator declares “testing students on the first day of school, retesting midway through the school year and administering the same test at the end of the year to measure progress” (Taylor). This would focus on the student as an individual not students as a whole. Students would be individually measured on their improvement as the school year goes on. Now, what does this have to do with teacher pay? Basically, the teachers who have students who vastly improved throughout the entire school year would receive an end of the year bonus, thus compensating for the low salary teachers are making annually. This makes teachers competitive and more involved at all times.
Incentive programs are also a competitive type of strategy that allows for teachers to make some extra money, even if that money is not guaranteed all the time. Having daily, monthly, and yearly incentives for teachers creates more connection between teachers and students. Teachers will be more inclined to help students who are struggling and at the same time students will actually feel like their teachers personally care about their achievements. Incentive programs also help schools that are in poverty. Offering extra monthly money to teachers who choose to educate in low funded schools means that lower class schools will always have teachers no matter what. This also means that the teachers will be qualified for the job and can help improve the schools that are struggling.
Lastly, the idea of mentor programs across the U.S. would help new and old teachers at the same time. Pairing a new teacher with a veteran teacher means that each teacher has something new they can learn. New teachers would learn a tremendous amount from teachers who are experienced while the experienced teachers may learn new techniques that they never considered before. This would create an atmosphere of teachers who are equipped with newer and older knowledge of subjects and teaching in general. In regards to higher pay, this would help teachers earn more money based on their knowledge and performance. This of course would only work if teachers were paid based off of their skill instead of their seniority.
Ultimately, I do not see an easy solution that can fix the issue of low teacher salary. With these implemented programs discussed so far, it is possible for teachers to make more money than they usually do yearly. This does not mean more pay for every single teacher in the U.S. but it does mean that there is an opportunity for the teachers who are trying hard and succeeding in their job. Making teaching more competitive along with providing additional help would not only mean more money for particular people but it also means the education field would be more appealing to college students who are not too sure about going into education.
Craven, Scott. “Issue of low pay is personal to teachers.” Arizona Republic , July 2017.
Quinton , Sophie . “What Does It Take to End a Teacher Shortage?” The Pew Charitable Trusts,
www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/blogs/stateline/2016/02/25/what-does-it- (Links to an external site.) take-to-end-a-teacher-shortage.
Startz, Dick . “Teacher Pay Around the World .” The Brown Center Chalkboard , 20 June 2016.
Taylor , Claire . “Boasso talks competitive teacher’s pay.” The Daily Advertiser , 18 Sept. 2007.
“Teacher Compensation.” Teacher Compensation | U.S. Department of Education,