(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)
In Team America: World Police Hans Blix shows up at the palace of Kim Jong Il. Blix demands to inspect North Korean nuclear facilities, “or else.” Kim Jong Il asks or else what, and Blix threatens to send “a very angry letter” from the United Nations. Kim proceeds to open a trap door, dropping Blix into a shark tank.
I would include a youtube link, but this is a family blog.
So just to sum up what I have gathered on Reading First: we have decades worth of high quality evidence showing that public schools are using terribly ineffective reading methods. When the Bush administration finally tries to do something about it, with serious money involved, lobbyists water down the bill language and the program administrator is subjected to a witch hunt. Essentially the schools take the billions and barely implement the program. When the program is evaluated, it “doesn’t work.”
The next time one of my fellow reformers suggests that they can fix things once they get to be the ones with their firm grip on the ship wheel, I’ll humbly suggest that they have the phrase “READING FIRST” tattooed to their forehead to serve as a constant reminder of how education policy actually works. Meaningful education reform can be done, but it works best when there is pressure from both the top down and the bottom up.