Few would deny that the Soviet occupation has had an effect on post-restoration policy making and implementation in Latvia. Indeed, many commentators of post-Soviet politics insist that we must come to terms with the Soviet to understand the post-Soviet. In our view, the effects of the Soviet legacy on the policy process are clearly apparent in post-restoration Latvia, specifically in the area of language education policy. This article argues that both Soviet and post-Soviet policy making and implementation can be characterized in three ways: duplicity, a Soviet ethos, and “professionalization”. In what follows, we first engage with the Soviet policy process in general and the 1958-59 education reforms specifically. Based on interviews with education professionals, teachers and parents, we then analyze Latvian education laws and their implementation in 2004, highlighting the legacy of Soviet governance.