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ERIC Number: EJ846525
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Feb-3
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 60
ISSN: ISSN-1068-2341
Policymaking in Education: Understanding Influences on the Reading Excellence Act
Edmondson, Jacqueline
Education Policy Analysis Archives, v13 n11 Feb 2005
Educators and researchers are being called to participate in language and literacy policy making (Roller & Long, 2001). In order to do so, however, there needs to be an understanding of how policy is made. Although policymaking often appears to be an irrational process, there are theories that exist to explain the influences and mechanisms that work to shape policies. In what follows, I adapt Theodoulou and Cahn's (1995) typology on policymaking in order to discuss how policy is made. These theories of policy making are explored within the context of the Reading Excellence Act to demonstrate how policymaking is read and explained. Given the limitations of these explanations, particularly the sense that there may be no explicit role for educators in such a process, an alternate theory of policymaking, critical pluralism, is proposed. This alternate typology suggests different roles for educators in relation to policymaking. "History gives democracy no advantages. All democracies are weak and short-lived, and no actually existing democracy is an ideal democracy. Most are minimalist democracies: most adults are allowed to vote in elections that are more or less fair, by which representatives, most of them rich, win their seats in visual media performances. Attempting in the face of this to educate for principled democratic activism--for enlightened political engagement--is ambitious, yet a moral necessity." (Parker, 2003, p. 52). (Contains 3 figures.)
Colleges of Education at Arizona State University and the University of South Florida. c/o Editor, USF EDU162, 4202 East Fowler Avenue, Tampa, FL 33620-5650. Tel: 813-974-3400; Fax: 813-974-3826; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Reading Excellence Act