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NCLB Outrages

Undoing the Damage Done Through Illegal Implementation of Reading First

Ohanian Comment; Much of the public (and even educators) don't understand NCLB and perceive it as a turf war. The resignation of Margaret Spellings is something everybody could understand.

Hey Ho
Hey Ho
Margaret Spellings,
You must go!

by Dr. Ken Goodman

The inspector General of the US Department of Education has documented flagrant conflicts of interest and illegal impositions of curriculum in negotiating the NCLB state contracts. Here are my views on what is needed to even partially undo the damage done.

Contracts and Sub-contracts with those guilty of conflicts of interest.

Itâs not enough for Secretary Spellings to promise to not do it again

All contracts with faculty, employees and entities at the University of Oregon should be reviewed and cancelled if they involved conflicts of interest. Any products of those contracts should be withdrawn and recalled.

Contracts for Assistance Centers should be reviewed and cancelled if they involve conflicts of interest and all products of those conflicts should be withdrawn and recalled. All state and LEA contracts issued under advisement of those with conflicts of interest should also be cancelled and renegotiated.

State contracts in which implementers with conflicts of interest exerted undue influence or acted coercively should be cancelled and renegotiated. That essentially means all state contracts.

Indictments and repayments

The Justice department should be requested to investigate causes for indictments and recovery of illegally gained profits resulting from conflicts of interest by individuals and publishers. The following companies should be investigated: McGraw Hill, Pearson (Scott Foresman), Houghton Mifflin, Voyager, and Sopris West. Specific attention should be paid to DIBELS, a focus of several issues raised in the Office of Inspector General reports.


Persons and companies found guilty of conflicts of interest and illegal acts in implementing Reading First should be disqualified from further participation in any NCLB funding initiatives


Margaret Spellings and any of her staff involved in illegal imposition of curriculum as prohibited in NCLB should be asked to resign. Actual crimes may have been committed under NCLB.

Ken Goodman is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Language, Reading and Culture at the University of Arizona in Tucson..

He is Past-President of the International Reading Association, The National Conference in Research in Language and Literacy and the Center for Expansion of Language and Thinking.

His research on oral reading miscues led to a sociopsycholinguistic transactional model of the reading process which has achieved world wide recognition.

He has written extensively for teachers including his small book What's Whole in Whole Language? which sold over 250,000 copies in six languages.

His latest book is The Truth about Dibels: What it is and what it does (Heienmann, 2006).

Dr. Goodman's website is www.u.arizona.edu/~kgoodman

— Ken Goodman
The Pulse


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