Monday, October 02, 2006

Reading First and NCTE

The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) responds:
The report reveals that during the crucial implementation years of the Reading First program, high-level Department of Education officials created guidelines that undermined the very principles of evidence-based decision-making. They held states to implementation guidelines not established under the No Child Left Behind Act,they stacked grant review panels with people sympathetic to their own view of literacy learning and, oftentimes, with direct ties to the same commercial programs they recommended; and they took charge of reporting review comments back to state education agency applicants themselves rather than having the review panels do so.

In 2002 NCTE called upon Congress to establish an independent investigatory body to look into the implementation of Reading First. Even then, we could not ignore the teachers and administrators across the country who disclosed that they were being steered toward particular commercial reading programs and were being forced to use poorly-conceived reading methods they knew to be ineffective.