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The Policy Analysis Exercise (PAE), which is the capstone of the Kennedy School’s Master in Public Policy
(MPP) curriculum and the equivalent of a master's thesis, is a professional product, meant to clarify and address a practical policy or management problem for a real-world client. The clients for this PAE were two senior officials in the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education: Carrie Conaway, Director of Planning, Research, and Evaluation and David Haselkorn, Associate Commissioner for Educator Policy, Preparation, Licensure, and Leadership. The faculty advisors were Suzanne Cooper, Senior Lecturer in Public Policy and Associate Academic Dean at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and Professor Timothy Nelson, Lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. This working paper was named one of the best PAEs written by an HKS student in the 2009-2010 academic year. Antoniya Owens, the PAE’s author, was a Rappaport Public Policy Fellow in the summer of 2009 and graduated from the Kennedy School in May 2010.