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NCLB Outrages

IRA's call for further investigation

Ken Goodman Comment:
I want to share one very important insight into what this all means and
how we need to respond to it. IRA and the Department of Education will ty to claim this is a
good program highjacked by a groups of crooks. So the answer is to keep
the program and its funding but make the implimentation more honest.

But I believe that the neoconservatives who wrote the Reading First/NCLB
revisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act knew exactly what they were doing.
They wrote definitions into the law which empowered just this group and
made them think they had carte blanche to do what they want with it.

They put these folks in power because they knew how arrogant -and power
hungry they were. Now they can say "See what happens when you throw
money at a problem,." So they win either way- make schools look bad and
shift the blame from the program to the crooks.

Our job is to make it clear:

1 That Reading First is a bad law based on bad research and even
worse pedagogy

2. That only through strong-armed and extra-legal tactics could
states and schools be forced toadopt it and continue to conform to it.

3. That there is no way of knowing which RF implimentations were
helpful or not because the whole process has been tainted.

4. That no school or school district has any obligation to continue
to use a program or test that was forced illegally on them.

5. That the roots of the problems with Reading First are in the law
itself and that the law must be drastically changed.

6. That this time the full range of professional input needs to be

The crooks looted the candy store but who gave them the keys?

by Alan Farstrup

Below you will find the text of a letter from International Reading Association (IRA) transmitted today to the U.S. Department of Justice. This letter reflects IRA's anger and
concern about the revelations contained in the recently released report of the Inspector General on Reading First. IRA will be making further statements about this matter in the days to come. This IG report confirms what many have been saying and fearing about Reading First and
No Child Left Behind implementation and how that process has been corrupted. We understand that members of the U.S. Congress will also be
calling for further investigation by the Department of Justice. In addition further reports are forthcoming from other investigative
bodies, including the General Accounting Office. IRA has been supporting and encouraging these inquiries while, at the same time, urging the news media to look into NCLB implementation and the favoritism that has been observed by so many in our field for so long. The goals of improving reading outcomes and eliminating the achievement
gap are too important to be "hijacked" by a group of biased insiders.

Alan E. Farstrup
Executive Director
International Reading Association
1-302-731-1600 ext. 220

---- IRA's Letter to the U.S. Department of Justice ----

September 25, 2006

The Honorable Alberto R. Gonzales
Attorney General of the United States
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001

Dear Sir:

The International Reading Association is very concerned with the
implications of the U.S. Department of Education's Inspector General's
report, The Reading First Grant Application Process: Final Inspection
Report made public on September 22, 2006. In that report the Inspector
General has made many significant recommendations to the United States
Department of Education. However, the report recommendations stop with
the decision-making procedures in the Department of Education.

We are concerned that the investigation did not go far enough. The
internal investigation found that decisions were made that may have
benefited a select group who were directing funds to specific programs
and products. That select group may have had financial interests in the
products and programs recommended. It is absolutely vital that a
complete and thorough investigation be made to determine if any
individual or group has unfairly benefited from this process.

Continued federal literacy support is essential to education, and it is
critical that any corruption or misuse of funding be corrected
immediately and punished if the problems rise to the level of
criminality. Reading First is an important piece of legislation and must
be administered fairly, honestly and in a manner consistent with the

Sincerely yours,

Alan E. Farstrup
Executive Director
International Reading Association

— Alan Farstrup with comment and warning from Ken Goodman
IRA letter to U. S. Attorney General


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