February 5, 2007

OMB gives Reading First its highest rating

Well lookee here.

OMB has rated (the scandalous) Reading First program as being effective, the highest rating.

  • The Reading First program has a strong program design and good management practices, and appears to bring about improvements in students' reading abilities. A small Department of Education staff leverages its efforts through technical assistance contracts and the efforts of States.
  • The program has shown improvements in the reading ability of various subgroups of students and has met performance targets; however, some groups are not improving as quickly as others.
  • A major evaluation of the implementation of the Reading First program has been completed and yielded positive results. A large-scale scientifically based examination is scheduled to generate an interim report in 2007 and a final report in 2008.

Only four programs in the US Department of Education were ranked "effective." Reading First was the only program in NCLB to be rated effective. In the federal government only 17% of programs are rated effective. Your tax dollars hard at work.


Catherine Johnson said...


This is exactly what Hirsch has been saying.

Reading First is the one part of NCLB that has worked.


Here's Hirsch:

And that, paradoxically, is the one area which has just come in for a scandal, the reading first program, because that program insisted that you have to have a phonics-oriented early reading program which was just what they have been pilloried for in this recent GAO report.

Core Convictions
An interview with E.D. Hirsch
Andrew J. Rotherham
September 26, 2006

(I don't have the link, but it's easy to Google.)

Catherine Johnson said...

Sorry, wrong source.

It's AEI:

Catherine Johnson said...

How many programs are rated?

(I'm not instantly seeing it - )

KDeRosa said...

All of them, I believe.

John at AFT said...

In the federal government only 17% of programs are rated effective. Your tax dollars hard at work.

That's a cute rhetorical trap. I'm sure if the federal gov't rated all of its programs effective, you'd be fine with that.

KDeRosa said...

In theory, no. But, in reality, I would know that shenanigans were afoot. Even 17% sounds a tad inflated if you ask me.

John at AFT said...

Got it. Since you start with the premise that the government is wasting your money. No matter what happens, it leads to the conclusion that the government is wasting your money. Air-tight logic.

KDeRosa said...

John, I think you're jumping to conclusions. I am not starting from the premise that government is wasting taxpayer money, but I am aware that that the government track record is rife with failed perograms that waste money. So I start at a point of scepticism based on the available evidence.

John at AFT said...

Okay, let me take you at your word. The evidence you use is the percentage of programs the federal govt rates as effective.

In the federal government only 17% of programs are rated effective. Your tax dollars hard at work.

So, what number could you plug into the sentence below that would make you change your conclusion? 1%? 40%? 90%? 100%?

Yeah, I thought so. Thanks for playing.

KDeRosa said...

I'm game, John.

I would have left off the "your tax dollars hard at work" quip at about 66%, although I most likely would have added "though that figure sounds suspiciously high (based on my understanding of governmental efficiency)."

I do realize that the concept of efficiency is somewhat lost on you public sector union types. A lesson your private sector brethren learned some time ago. I mean it's not like the public school system is in danger of going out of business or bankrupt anytime in the foreseeable future. So low efficiency just means that the public needs to contribute more, ever more.

Ari-free said...

How about "In the federal government only 17% of programs are rated effective by the government but also by independent objective studies based on evidence."