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January 26, 2009

CREW Wins Judgment on Reading First FOIA Request

Any time the U.S. Department of Education gets a nudge to move on FOIA requests, particularly those related to the Reading First program, it gets my full attention. I have tussled with the department a number of times over the last six years, constantly nagging and prodding for documents that should...

December 31, 2008

From Sesame Street to "Planet 429"

"Sesame Street" has sought for years to help children from all backgrounds develop basic reading skills. Can "Planet 429" help them read and comprehend? WTTW National Productions, a Chicago-based company, has begun production of a TV show to be titled "Mission to Planet 429," which, like Sesame Str...

December 11, 2008

Reading Association Recommends More Teacher Autonomy

The International Reading Association is looking to shift more of the decision making back to teachers when it comes to reading and writing instruction. That would be a pendulum shift away from many current policies at the local, state, and federal levels that have instituted strict requirements for...

November 21, 2008

Fed Officials Defend 'Rigorous' Reading Study

When the interim report of the Reading First Impact Study came out in May, there was an uproar from fans of the federal program who said the methodology was seriously flawed. As I reported here, they cited the likely "contamination" of the comparison schools, meaning that even though they didn't rec...

November 19, 2008

Final Report on the Impact of Reading First

The IES released the final Reading First Impact Study report today, and the bottom line is that the $6 billion spent on the federal initiative over the last six years helped boost decoding skills among 1st graders in the program, but had no effect on comprehension for 1st, 2nd, or 3rd graders. Ed W...

October 09, 2008

A Reprieve for Reading First?

Reading First may benefit from the lack of action on the fiscal 2009 federal budget. As my colleague Alyson Klein reported this week, Congress passed an extension bill that would essentially provide the same level of funding for the federal reading program as in fiscal 2008. That's $393 million. The...

September 19, 2008

Early Reading First Expands

The Ed Dept. announced a new round of Early Reading First grants this week, with 31 applicants from 19 states sharing $106 million. The federal preschool literacy initiative will maintain its funding level, which has held steady since the program was instituted in 2002, even as Reading First is thre...

September 05, 2008

Relationships Trumped Data in Reading First?

In "Hooked on Phonies," Mother Jones magazine takes on the well-worn tale of Reading First and the alleged cronyism in the federal effort to improve reading instruction. The article is in the Sept./Oct. issue of the independent, liberal magazine. It chronicles the unlikely success of the K-2 reading...

July 01, 2008

Laura Bush and Literacy

The first lady plans to host her second international literacy meeting in September, two years after the first, which my colleague Mary Ann Zehr covered here. The next one, however, will include discussions summarizing six regional meetings on literacy held around the world by UNESCO over the past y...

June 25, 2008

More on Reading First

A Senate appropriations subcommittee has also voted to eliminate funding for Reading First, according to this article by my colleague Alyson Klein. So it looks like these efforts by the Reading First Advisory Committee to send a statement to committee members may be too late. Meanwhile, there's all...

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