This last week in ISM I made significant progress regarding my final product. Over the week, I worked on evaluating and critiquing the three different proposals for public education finance policies. In doing so, I began to synthesize the research that I have conducted with the real-life impacts that policy has. Through this part of my final product, I realized the weight of what I am studying. As I began to draft how the different finance systems in question would impact school districts and students statewide, it became clear that policies are much more than means of gaining political power. They are instead means of serving the public. While I have been familiar with this lesson all year, this past week was the first time that I realized the weight of policy-based service in society. This further motivated me to seek out the best plausible policy proposal for my case study, as well as pursue a service-driven career in my future years.
On Thursday, I also attended a forum between the city council, mayoral, and school board candidates in my town. This night further illustrated the impacts of policy in real life. As the candidates spoke about local issues, it became clear that local elections and elected officials hold a power that federal politicians do not. While Congress may pass larger actions, these do not always directly impact individuals. However, at this local candidate forum, I realized just how much weight local debates and issues had on my family and myself. This inspired me to become more involved in my community, especially in the election season.