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In calling it a "multi-billion dollar textbook scandal
," USA Today's Greg Toppo may finally have figured out how the mainstream press can write the Reading First story. Or at least the headline. Everyone can understand a textbook scandal, and the money angle plays well, too as we've learned from the student lending scandal. As chief complainant, Toppo uses the story of Cindy Cupp (textbook pictured) rather than Bob Slavin. But it's still not an easy story to tell, as Toppo alludes several times in just the first paragraph, calling it a "slow-motion" scandal and a "complex, contradictory tale of textbooks, tests and allegations of federal arm-twisting." Indeed.