Interestgroups, also known as lobby groups or advocacy groups, areorganizations that aim at promoting or influencing changes in publicpolicies and governance without seeking elected positions. There areseveral types of interest groups, which use different approaches toachieve their goals. They play a significant role in the Americansociety by ensuring that the views of the public reach governmentofficials and politicians. They focus on the interests of aparticular segment of the population. Labor organizations andprofessional associations are some of the most pertinent interestgroups which lobby for various issues affecting their members. Theyalso inform their members or the public on social and politicalissues affecting them. Advocacy groups play an important role in theelectoral processes, mainly civic education and as independentobservers. Because of their political neutrality, they can offeraccurate and unbiased criticism of the government and other publicinstitutions. Although the majority of lobby groups are nationalorganizations, some operate internationally with an aim ofinfluencing global policies such as environmental protection. Peopleengage in interest groups activities to push for a particular courseor communicate their interests in a particular issue (Nownes, 2013).
Adetailed and elaborate description of interest groups and their rolesin the American society are provided. Some of the functions discussedinclude organizing individuals with shared interests, provision ofinformation and education, acting as a link between stakeholders,coordinating electoral processes and protecting the interests oftheir members among others. The discussion concludes by mentioningsome of the reasons why people engage in interest groups activities.
Anexample of an interest group, The National Rifle Association, is usedto discuss the roles of advocacy groups in the American society. Theyinclude pushing for the common goal and civil rights. Another aspectdiscussed is the different types of interest groups that exist, someof which are involved in undesirable activities.
Nownes,A. (2013). InterestGroups in American Politics: Pressure and Power.New York: Routledge.
Severalorganizations and bodies are responsible for the regulation ofeducation in Texas State. The most important bodies are theautonomous school districts, which owns and runs the majority ofschools in the state. All the school districts operate independentlyfrom the state and local governments, irrespective of their sizes.Additionally, their jurisdictional bounds may cross cities,municipalities and county boundaries. They have the legal authorityto collect taxes from the residents (Nath, 2012).
Anotherbody that plays a vital role in the education sector is the TexasEducation Agency. The function of the agency is oversight over thesystem, although its power is limited by the autonomy of schoolboards. It has several service centers, consisting of schooldistricts, distributed all over the state. Nonetheless, privateschools are not under the jurisdiction of the two bodies. The TexasBoard of Education is responsible for education quality such asapproving textbooks. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board isin charge of all post-secondary education public institutions. Someof the most critical issues that are handled by these state agenciesare related to funding and quality. For example, the school districthas an influence over taxation and day to day operations in schools(Nath, 2012).
Althoughthe bodies are not political institutions, the role of electedrepresentatives such as the legislature is evident. In my view,decision making in the education sector should be left to the expertsor trained officials and not politicians.
Thetwo main bodies, Texas Education Agency and school districts, whichare responsible for the state education system, are identified. Also,the roles of these organizations are clearly outlined. Otherdiscussions include specific issues as well the role politicians andtrained officials in the education sector.
Theindependent school districts and the state board of education areidentified as the most important bodies in the state system. The mainissues or the role of politicians and trained officials in the sectorare not mentioned or discussed.
Nath,J. (2012). Becomingan EC-6 Teacher in Texas.Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.