Thursday, April 19, 2007

Michael J. Petrilli on Reading First on National Review Online

Michael J. Petrilli on Reading First on National Review Online: "Hooked on Hysterics"

Sorry I lied in my last post. I got bored of studying and came across this article.

Someone a lot more qualified than me seems to echo several of my last few posts on Reading First

This circus was set in motion on the campaign trail seven years ago. That’s when Governor George W. Bush proposed a heavy-handed federal program, modeled on a similar — and notably successful — one in Texas, that would provide mucho dinero for reading instruction, but only for interventions that were scientifically proven to work.

(I said Reading First was a bribe)

and

Fast-forward to tomorrow’s hearing, featuring the Education Department’s inspector general, who spent much of 2006 producing reports purporting to show that federal officials steered Reading First grants to preferred programs — those with which they had “professional associations.” Not that he presented any evidence of financial shenanigans — merely that a handful of the expert panelists reviewing the state applications were partial to certain reading approaches (specifically, those that work).

Another witness will be Chris Doherty, the former administration official who directed the Reading First program until he was made to walk the plank on behalf of his superiors last fall. His response to these “allegations” might as well be “guilty as charged.” He and his colleagues did exactly what they were expected to do. Federal officials did prevent states from using certain programs, programs not based on scientific research, and advised them how to look for better ones, just as Congress intended. That was the whole point...

As I previously commented:
Some reading programs are good, some are bad.

Good reading programs have experts, bad reading programs have quacks.

Reading First hires experts.

Experts recommend good reading programs.

Schools improve using good reading programs.

Quacks get pissed, accuse experts of profiting.
Michael's main point though is that Democrats that supported Reading First are in a quandary. Pile on a program they supported to make political points, or stand by their convictions and Reading Firsts success.

2 comments:

4trogan said...

Check out what this idiot blog has to say (of course they won't allow comments):

http://schoolsmatter.blogspot.com/2007/04/new-eugenics-from-reading-first-to.html

CrypticLife said...

Thanks 4trogan, I wrote a post incorporating the remarks of the idiot.

He refers to "eugenics", as though direct instruction were somehow a racist philosophy! It's teaching methodologies which never give the fundamental skills which create racial gaps in education. Rich kids get their basic phonics skills at home through educational toys their parents buy, poor kids don't. Poor kids thus never get the basics, while rich kids are able to make better use of what IS offered.