The chapters in this volume, combined with other recent books on secondary school literacy (e.g., Alvermann, Hinchman, Moore, Phelps, & Waff, 1998; Beach & Hynds, 1990) and literacy in nonacademic settings (e.g., Hamilton, Barton & Ivanic, 1994; Lankshear, 1996; Prinsloo & Breir, 1996; Shuman, 1986), call for reactions that go beyond the traditional education questions of effectiveness. For at least two decades, the fields of classroom research and reading and writing research have, in general, been mired in seeking more effective ways to teaching reading and writing, defined almost exclusively by test scores. One result of that obsession has been a failure to examine the substance of what is being read or written, of what social relationships are being taught and learned, and what cultural ideologies are being promulgated. With the marginalization of left-wing politics in the United States, and elsewhere, and with the marginalization of schooling informed by cultural and social critique, education including literacy education has been simplistically defined as access to the existing economic structure. Reading and writing at the secondary school level has been de-fined in terms of its effectiveness in helping students acquire academic knowledge and skills measured by tests and as needed for access. Gone was even the pretext that secondary school education had a transformative social agenda to create a more just and equitable society as multicultural education, bilingual education, cultural and ethnic studies, sex education, community studies, ungraded curricula, writing process, women’s studies, whole language, gay and lesbian studies, studies of contemporary literature by people of color, and other progressive directions, all came under attack and were either eliminated, marginalized, or forced underground. The chapters in this book refuse to be contained within the framework of effectiveness. Necessarily then, a response to the chapters in this book must be political.