No Child Left Behind: $55 Billion Boondoggle?

…Directing your attention to an article in yesterday’s Washington Post by Michael Grunwald: The Education Issue, which examines the implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act. Regarding the $1 billion per year Reading First program, Grunwald writes, “Five years later, an accumulating mound of evidence from reports, interviews and program documents suggests that Reading First has had little to do with science or rigor. Instead, the billions have gone to what is effectively a pilot project for untested programs with friends in high places.”

One comment on “No Child Left Behind: $55 Billion Boondoggle?

  1. The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) responds:

    The report reveals that during the crucial implementation years of the Reading First program, high-level Department of Education officials created guidelines that undermined the very principles of evidence-based decision-making. They held states to implementation guidelines not established under the No Child Left Behind Act,they stacked grant review panels with people sympathetic to their own view of literacy learning and, oftentimes, with direct ties to the same commercial programs they recommended; and they took charge of reporting review comments back to state education agency applicants themselves rather than having the review panels do so.

    In 2002 NCTE had called upon Congress to establish an independent investigatory body to look into the implementation of Reading First. Even then, we could not ignore the teachers and administrators across the country who disclosed that they were being steered toward particular commercial reading programs and were being forced to use poorly-conceived reading methods they knew to be ineffective.

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