In this brief essay, I outline a core concern of educational policy research that often is left unattended – the hidden benefits of policy. I then share a host of studies that have taken a critical stance toward policy research, strategically engaging the masked, unacknowledged, and latent ideological consequences of policy texts. These studies help illustrate ways that educational policy has become a normative social practice for securing the status-quo and perpetuating dominant ideological discourses. I conclude by offering thoughts toward a reconfiguration of policy that encourages a compassionate, reflexive, living interrogation of how discourse begets material reality.



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