Issues for Debate in American Public Policy: Selections from The CQ Researcher / Edition 11

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More About This Textbook


"Chapters of Issues for Debate in American public Policy are informative; present a broad range of questions and opinions, even on a single issue; and consistently generate student interest, debate and response. It's the primary text in my class on current controversies and a great supplement in American politics or public policy classes. It's one my favorite classroom resources. A truly worthwhile teaching tool!"---Sally Friedman. Suny Albany" "Issues for Debate in American Public policy provides as excellent practical framework for how issues are viewed and discussed outside of the classroom. The text helps spark lively, engaging and informed discussion during class sessions. Students really appreciate the evenhanded approach taken by the text in the discussions of some of the most controversial issues facing the United states."---Matt Mandel. American University" "CQ Press's Issues for Debate in American Public Policy takes the student right to the heart of today's most pressing policy issues. Enlivened with up-to-the-minute detail, personal vignettes and background including 'how we got there' stories, this volume is an essential reader for all policy analysis classes, graduate or undergraduate. Students will feel the relevance of each dilemma we face and understand the pros and cons of policy solutions."---Barbara Neuby, Kennesaw State University" In the tradition of nonpartisanship and current analysis that is the hallmark of CQ Researcher, Issues for Debate in American public Policy investigates sixteen important and controversial policy issues.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781604267297
  • Publisher: Congressional Quarterly, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/15/2010
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 11
  • Pages: 424
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Annotated contents




1 Revisiting No Child Left Behind 1

Should states adopt the proposed "common core standards" for English and math? 5

Should the Education Department focus remedial efforts on the worst-performing schools? 6

Should teachers be held more accountable for students' performance? 7

Background 9

Limited Federal Role 9

Schools Seen 'At Risk' 11

'No Child' Loses Support 14

Current Situation 16

Racing to the Top 16

Promoting the Blueprint 18

Outlook: Catalysts for Change? 19

Notes 20

Bibliography 22

2 The Value of a College Education 25

Is a four-year college degree necessary for financial security? 28

Are high-school career and technical education programs adequately preparing students for upward mobility? 30

Can community colleges meet rising demand for their programs? 32

Background 34

Rise of Community Colleges 34

College Degree Beckons 37

Education Reforms 38

Current Situation 40

Obama's Initiative 40

Evolving Labor Market 42

Outlook: Many challenges 43

Notes 44

Bibliography 47

3 Bilingual Education vs. English Immersion 51

Is Bilingual education effective for English-language learners? 56

Is "English immersion" effective for English learners? 57

Should funding for English-language learning be increased? 58

Background 59

American Languages 59

Language Debates 61

Language Tests 64

Current Situation 66

Lagging Indications 66

Fighting in Court 68

Outlook: Getting Results? 69

Notes 70

Bibliography 72


4 Climate Change 75

Is the Copenhagen Accord a meaningful step forward in the fight against global warming? 79

Is the U.N.'s climate change negotiating framework outdated? 80

Would a carbon tax reduce emissions more effectively? 81

Background 83

Road to Copenhagen 83

Climate and Culture 83

The Doubters 85

Untangling the Threads 88

Current Situation 90

Next Steps 90

Outlook: Too Late? 94

Notes 96

Bibliography 98


5 Gays in the Military 101

Can military units function effectively with openly homosexual members? 106

Is the "don't ask, don't tell" approach to differentiating sexual "orientation" from conduct a viable compromise? 107

Should the United States follow other countries' examples and allow gays to serve openly in the military? 108

Background 110

Practical Realities 110

Transition 113

'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' 114

Wartime Controversies 115

Current Situation 116

Strategic Differences 116

Fehrenbach's Case 118

Following Orders 118

Outlook: Question of Timing 119

Notes 120

Bibliography 123

6 Government and Religion 125

Is the United States a "Christian nation"? 127

Should religious display be allowed on public land? 130

Does government funding of faith-based programs violate the Constitution? 131

Background 133

Early Conflict 133

Religion's New Role 135

Supreme Court Decisions 136

Current Situation 140

Clarification or Confusion? 140

Site of the Cross 142

Outlook: Continuing Battles 143

Notes 144

Bibliography 147


7 Gun Rights Debates 149

Should laws restricting ownership of firearms be relaxed? 153

Should laws regarding concealed weapons be relaxed? 154

Should criminal penalities for gun-related offenses be relaxed? 155

Background 158

Rewriting History 158

Drawing Lines 161

Going to Court 164

Current Situation 166

Testing Heller's Reach 166

Gaining in the States 167

Outlook: Missing the Bull's-Eye? 168

Notes 169

Bibliography 170

8 Housing the Homeless 173

Can government end homelessness? 176

Should the definition of homeless include people in unstable housing situations? 178

Are housing subsidies the best way to help families facing homelessness? 180

Background 182

The Right to Shelter 182

Beyond Shelter 186

Ending Homelessness 186

War and Recession 188

Current Situation 188

Fund Drive 188

Metropolitan Trends 190

Small-Town Woes 191

Outlook: 'Modestly Positive' Trends 191

Notes 192

Bibliography 194

9 Prisoner Reentry 197

Are state governments doing enough to help prisoners reenter society? 200

Should government or private organizations provide subsidized jobs for ex-prisoners? 202

Do reentry programs significantly reduce recidivism? 203

Background 205

Crime Boom 205

Mandatory Minimums 205

Incarceration Boom 207

Reentry Reality 210

Current Situation 212

Upgrading Skills 212

California Meltdown 214

Outlook: Change in Tone 215

Notes 216

Bibliography 218

10 Tea Party Movement 221

Does the Tea Party represent only a narrow segment of the population? 225

Will the Tea Party movement reshape the Republican Party? 226

Does the Tea Party attract conspiracy theorists? 227

Background 228

People's Party 228

Right Turn 232

The 'Silent Majority' 234

Enduring Appeal 235

Current Situation 236

The Election Test 236

Political Realities 238

Third-Party Option 239

Outlook: Short Life? 240

Notes 241

Bibliography 243


11 Financial Bailout 245

Will the bailout plan work? 248

Did Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac cause the financial crisis? 249

Should Congress adopt tougher regulatory reforms? 251

Background 254

First Sparks 254

Soaring Home Prices 258

Takeover of Fannie, Freddie 258

Rescue Plan 260

Current Situation 262

Red Ink 262

Fate of Fannie, Freddie 262

Placing Blame 264

Outlook: Major Changes? 265

Update 265

Notes 268

Bibliography 271


12 Interrogating the CIA 275

Should CIA agents be prosecuted for exceeding interrogation guidelines? 279

Should the CIA be allowed to use "enhanced interrogation techniques" when questioning "high-value" detainees? 280

Should Congress authorize an in-depth investigation of past detention and interrogation practices? 282

Background 284

Eliciting the Truth 284

Mind Control 286

'Using Any Means' 289

Current Situation 290

Fighting Over Disclosure 290

Getting to Trial? 293

Outlook: Change and Continuity 294

Notes 295

Bibliography 298

13 Prosecuting Terrorists 301

Should suspected terrorists be tried in civilian courts? 304

Should suspected terrorists be tried in military tribunals? 305

Should some Guantanamo detainees be held indefinitely without trial? 306

Background 308

Power and Precedent 308

Challenge and Response 310

Change and Continuity 311

Current Situation 316

Watching Appeals 316

Making a Deal? 317

Outlook: Bringing Justice to Bear 320

Notes 321

Bibliography 323

14 U.S.-China Relations 327

Is a U.S.-China partnership actually possible? 330

Is a confrontation with China, inevitable as some predict? 332

Has China's "market authoritarian" model of government emerged as an alternative to Western democracy? 334

Background 335

Presidential Challenges 335

All Business 337

An 'Edgy' Game 340

Current situation 342

Tense Beginning 342

Outlook: The Taiwan Question 345

Notes 346

Bibliography 348

15 Afghanistan Dilemma 351

Is the Obama administration pursuing the right course in Afghanistan? 355

Are troop levels in Afghanistan adequate? 359

Should the United States negotiate with the Taliban? 359

Background 363

'Graveyard of Empires' 363

Chaos and War 363

Soviet Invasion 364

A Weakening Government 365

Current Situation 366

Measurable Metrics 366

NATO's Cold Shoulder 368

Americanizing the War 369

Outlook: More Violence 369

Notes 370

Bibliography 373


16 Health-Care Reform 375

Is the new health-care reform law a good idea? 378

Will people with insurance lose out under the new law? 381

Will health care reform make care more affordable? 382

Background 384

Exceptional America 384

Hybrid Solutions 384

The Clinton Plan 387

Massachusetts Plan 388

Current Situation 390

Democrats in Power 390

Implementing the Law 393

Fighting the Law 394

Outlook: Dealing with Rationing 394

Notes 395

Bibliography 397

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