... that policies are representational while reflecting the values of a society or culture, how do we ensure that educational policies are truly representative of the constituencies intended to benefit?
Who serves to benefit from the establishment of educational policies?
What techniques are used to attract attention to the message?
Critical discourse analysis is a method used to examine textual practices in various context, with language or spoken word as the focus. p.99
Critical discourse analysis allows the authors to review the proceedings of the Reading Leadership Academy of winter 2002.
CDA examines methodology emphasizing the social, political, economic and cultural spaces.p.100
Close examination of the discourse of public speeches were used to ascertain how this particular policy defined the cultural models of the reader, program, teacher and agency. p.100
.... critical discourse analysis (CDA) uniquely serve to provide the critical lens through which to look at educational policy and the Leadership Academy proceedings?
CDA relies on artifacts and speeches presented at the Reading Leadership Academy. Whose point of view is likely to be represented using these artifacts?
The cultural model of the reader revealed in the analysis is one who must by the end of third grade be able to decode 120 words per minute orally. Should the only descriptor of what constitutes a reader depend on chronological age?
How might different people understand the meaning?
The stated outcome of the Reading First Initiative was to redirect funds to state and local school districts that qualified for a three year funding cycle due to failure to meet standards.
The money was to provide professional development opportunities for teachers, remedial programs, materials and monitoring of student progress
Identified essential components of reading as phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, reading fluency including oral reading and reading comprehension strategies. This goal of third grade reading proficiency was constructed as universally applicable
Defining literacy strictly based on developmental benchmarks disregards the context, social, political, economic in which students would learn these literacy competencies. This policy and narrow focus fails to incorporate the complex reader and strategies for all mediated and digitized texts.
RFI goals promote a single version of competence, monolingual and monocultural disenfranchising students who are increasingly diverse.
“ The state agency as the central panopticon (Focoult) becomes the all-seeing omnipresent central surveillance of classroom behavior and activities.”
...... established in isolation from the context in which it will be implemented address the diverse and divergent populations and literacies that will be affected by the instructional practices mandated by the policy?
What is should the role of administrator and state agency be if not enforcer and monitor? How might their leadership address change the monolingual and monocultural characteristics of this policy?
How must reading competencies and educational policies be renegotiated to address diverse populations and divergent texts?
Whose values and points of view are omitted?
Professional development was intended to:
“ support the adopted, comprehensive reading programs: implement state standards and frameworks.” The speaker contends that teachers “don’t want endless choices. They want structure. They want fewer choices. They don’t want to invent their own curriculum. They want to know what works… The teachers told us that when you don’t have someone coming into your room to observe, you don’t give your best effort.” (Moats)
The role of the teacher
...was marginalized in this process and the professional expertise of educators was overlooked. How might administrators ensure that professional development opportunities are not just workshops on prepackaged curricula?
What is the role of the teacher in creating and implementing educational policy?
Why is this message being sent?
Without representation of all stakeholders the deconstruction of the policy and this specific reading initiative reveals a limited view of literacy and narrow cultural models.
The narrow focus is in direct contrast to current literacy research that represents the complex skills and processes necessary for students to be competent in their “text saturated” world
If we accept that teachers are central to the learning process, that administrators should be situated as facilitators and leaders and not enforcers and that literacy is contextual and diverse then teachers, parents and students must be come agents of change resisting the unilateral and unidirectional mandates of policies such as NCLB.
Based on critical discourse analysis
.... what were the essential weaknesses in the Reading First Initiative? Can critical literacies be successfully integrated into an educational policy that is data driven and narrowly focused?
What should educational policy and subsequent federal funding look like in 2010?
Extending the text....
Adolescent Literacy Policy, by Lisa Patel Stevens
"Dear President Obama and Secretary Duncan: you are looking through the wrong window." Lisa Patel Stevens and Peter Piazza
In this article the authors examine U.S. federal educational policy a year into the presidential administration of Barack Obama. Central to the article is a look at the administration's perceptions of problems and solutions in education, a set of situations open to flaws the authors warn. The authors question conventional wisdom that suggests that an improvement in secondary education is brought about by raising standards and by the provision of incentives for teachers who meet or exceed those levels