Policy and Instruction: What Is the Relationship?

Authored by: Anne McGill-Franzen

Handbook of Reading Research

Print publication date:  April  2000
Online publication date:  April  2014

Print ISBN: 9780805823981
eBook ISBN: 9781410605023
Adobe ISBN: 9781135688967


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The present is a time of unprecedented public and governmental interest in reading instruction, “more interest … than at any time in the last 20 years” (Hart, 1996, p. 600). Not only are policymakers and researchers at a critical point in time, but Hart insisted, “a golden opportunity is presenting itself for all of us—researchers and policymakers alike—to join forces and influence one of the most important educational policy debates to present itself in quite some time” (p. 601). For better or for worse, federal and state policymakers are scrutinizing reading education as rarely before. Further, such policy is intruding on the “core technology” of teaching and learning (Cohen & Ball, 1997; Elmore, 1996). In this chapter, I describe the recent policy history of reading education, its place on the public policy agenda, and, relatedly, the research that relates reading policy to reading instruction. Although time periods and themes may overlap, the chapter is organized along a loose chronology of reading policy with an emphasis on contemporary issues.

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