Thursday, May 08, 2008

An Initiative on Reading Is Rated Ineffective

Published: May 2, 2008

President Bush’s $1 billion a year initiative to teach reading to low-income children has not helped improve their reading comprehension, according to a Department of Education report released on Thursday.

The program, known as Reading First, drew on some of Mr. Bush’s educational experiences as Texas governor, and at his insistence Congress included it in the federal No Child Left Behind legislation that passed by bipartisan majorities in 2001. It has been a subject of dispute almost ever since, however, with the Bush administration and some state officials characterizing the program as beneficial for young students, and Congressional Democrats and federal investigators criticizing conflict of interest among its top advisers.

“Reading First did not improve students’ reading comprehension,” concluded the report, which was mandated by Congress and carried out by the Department of Education’s research arm, the Institute of Education Sciences. “The program did not increase the percentages of students in grades one, two or three whose reading comprehension scores were at or above grade level.”

Read more HERE

1 comment:

im1ru2 said...

This is just appalling! $1billion and nothing to show for it but failure and now denial and our Sec. of Ed. wants more time to review the report?

What makes me even more disappointed is the following statement:

"Ms. Farris said that one of the consistent messages Ms. Spellings has heard from educators, principals and state administrators “is about the effectiveness of the Reading First program in their schools and their disappointment with Congress” for cutting its financing."

Despite the fact that this program has not produced results, it appears what everyone is more concerned about again, is the money! The flow of money will be cut! Forget about the "effect" of the program(s), what about the money?!

Sounds all too familiar. And for just one split second I was getting worried about looking at things with a "not so trusting" eye a little too often.

Well here are another billion reasons for looking that way! And that is 5 years of kids going through the cycle, not learning, that will take YEARS to catch up, re-learn, maybe not catch back up to where they should be, and as the motto says, that is "priceless"!

Those kids and the rest of us will suffer for those early years of "politicking" their education for who knows how long, meanwhile we'll just keep pointing fingers at each other about should we have swimming pools, domes or 4 walls and no trailers and smart kids!

Get on with it already! For everyone of the “educators” who want to support these findings, along with the last report right before this which stated we are no better off and even worse off than 25 years ago for all the money we have spent (and the improvements we’ve made to education and our facilities!?) on education, I suggest it is time for those folks to reevaluate their chosen profession. The facts just don’t support the mantra any longer that things are working out and it is time for a massive over-haul to the education system.

The hand-writing is on the proverbial chalkboard.