September 22, 2006

Reading First Report

Update: 9/28: I have updated the Reading First "Scandal" nine times since this first post. G0 to the top and start scrolling.

The Office of the Inspector General issued a Final Inspection Report today regarding some potential shenanigans in the Reading First grant process. I see some of the prominent DI guys being named in the investigation. Looks like it could turn out to be an nice little scandal. Should be an interesting read.

Here's an AP story on the report. Looks like DoE stacked the panel with DI and other non-balanced reading program people in an effort to keep the balanaced/whole reading people off the panel who would undoubtedly permit non-scientifically based programs, like Reading Recovery, to get Reading First grants. Such is life when you are in an industry with an ideological agenda. It's like battling the communists. Nonetheless, rules should have been followed. It should be interesting to see how this plays out. I suspect a large political element is involved with this report. Let's see what shakes out. The DI guys know how to defend themselves in smear campaigns, so if they fail to do so in the next few days, you can probably bet they did something wrong.

Eduwonk appears to be the only one on the case.


1citizen said...

This is outrageous! A sitting president actually appointing people to powerful positions who think they way he does! Why the next thing you know, he'll appoint judges who actually believe the Constitution is the law of the land! The days of our republic are surely numbered now.

Just another hit piece on W. No laws were broken here. Even the article says "suggests" as though laws were broken. There are enough weasel words in there to make a few full length fur coats.

Pure politics and a few fuzzy-headed snake-oil peddlers upset that the federal teat they've been suckling on has dried up. That's all.

KDeRosa said...

My initial read of the article is that States were still trying to submit whole language programs, like Reading Recovery, as being scientifically based under Reading First. The Reading First subpanels were very aggressive in determining that those programs did not qualify, which they don't. The states must have gotten pissed off and hence this "investifation"

With respect to the potential conflict, it is noteworthy that DoE did not have to perform a conflict check. They did anyway and even checked for financial conflicts. There were none. OIG's only complaint was that the DI guys have "professional connections" to DI which "requies use of only reading program - Reading Mastery." I don't believe this is even accurate, though it is amusing. DoE does not appear to be capitulating on the issue judging by their 9/18 letter.

It's all very contrived.

EHT said...

This type of stuff is the real quagmire in education. Greedy politics and many a faulty premise trickle down to my classroom which eventually leads to it all being my fault.

I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your recent comments on my site...first about the trolls and second about my jackass mailer. We all have our roles to fill here in our forum, and we need you to keep doing what YOU do so well...keeping us on our toes!

KDeRosa said...

Thanks EHT. I know what it's like to write thousands of words a week using a primitive interface, without the benefit of an editor, and under severe time constraints.

I agree. Good teaching depends on the combination of good teachers and good curricula.

Improprieties in the RF approval process asside, I find it reprehensible that some states are still trying to push failed reading programs in 2006. That seems like an even worse scandal to me.

Keep up the good work.