Neoliberal collusion or strategic simultaneity? on multiple rationales for language-in-education policies

Mary McGroarty

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


This article responds to Petrovic's (2005, Language Policy, 4(4)) critique of justifications for language policy implied by Ruiz's 1984 tripartite conceptualization of language as problem, right, or resource. Based on current literature in American policy analysis, federalism, and educational reform, I argue that articulation of multiple rationales for language policy is strategically essential because opportunities for action arise unpredictably. As with educational reform generally, adequate rationales for effective and socially just language policies must recognize the moral, as well as material aspects of education, and must, additionally, instantiate awareness of noncognitive as well as cognitive dimensions of educational goals and processes. Only by recognizing these separate influences on the climate of American public opinion and, further, by linking them with an array of programmatic and pedagogical alternatives can scholars contribute to the ongoing challenges of building effective language programs on a comprehensive intellectual foundation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-13
Number of pages11
JournalLanguage Policy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2006


  • Bilingual education
  • Educational reform
  • Federalism
  • Language policy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Linguistics and Language


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