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[Susan notes: The Times lacked the good sense to publish this terrific letter which nicely summarizes the issue (which the article did not).]

Submitted to New York Times but not published
03/12/2007

To the editor



As a member of the National Reading Panel (NRP) and a former

teacher and elementary principal in Madison, Wisconsin, I applaud the school

district¹s courage and wisdom in resisting pressure from Federal officials

to accept one of their favored commercial reading programs. Madison

teachers
are well qualified to teach reading because they are involved in

ongoing study and discussion of reading research and practice at their

schools. They are able to provide the instruction and materials best suited

to each student¹s needs.



As the Inspector General¹s report reveals, the primary

architects and enforcers of Reading First, have perpetrated a giant fraud on

America¹s public schools, first by manipulating the selection of NRP

members, and then by disseminating distortions of the panel¹s findings. Most

panel members came with pre-conceived notions of what was good reading

instruction and then went about finding research to support their beliefs.

They never even looked at research on methods they did not approve of.

Joanne Yatvin


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