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NCLB Outrages

House panel cuts Reading First dollars


I’m Fred Klonsky, a local Park Ridge, Illinois union president, who writes and posts about teachers, teaching, teacher unions and social justice. The views are mine and do not necessarily reflect the position of the NEA, IEA or PREA. But sometimes they do.

There’s no justice as long as Paris Hilton sits in a cold LA jail and Reading First huckster Chris Doherty walks the streets a free man.

But the stuff is hitting the fan, finally. A House panel voted to approve the $56 billion fiscal 2008 spending bill for the Department of Education which would mean that No Child Left Behind Act programs would receive a $2 billion increase, with the Title I program for disadvantaged students receiving $1.5 billion of that.

But the $1.03 billion Reading First program—which the Bush administration points to as one of its biggest accomplishments under the NCLB law—would take a cut of $630 million, or 61 percent. What’s more, the administration’s latest proposals for private school vouchers and new mathematics programs would not be funded at all.

This disappointed the usual suspects and even made some folks unhappy that might surprise you.

The folks at Eduwonk whined:

This Administration really seems to have the reverse Midas touch, almost everything they touch turns to [expletive deleted].

But even Robert Slavin whose Success for All, a competing reading program to Reading First and who got out-foxed by the RF hucksters in the DOE was unsatisfied.

“This is not the way I had hoped it would go,” said Robert E. Slavin, the founder of the Baltimore-based Success for All Foundation and one of three vendors whose complaints to the inspector general’s office in 2005 led to a broad review of the program.

— Fred Klonsky


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