The final report of the U.S. Department of Education commissioned evaluation of Reading First was released yesterday. According to Russ Whitehurst, the USDOE’s director of the Institute for Education Sciences: “I don’t think anyone should be celebrating that the federal government has spent $6 billion on a reading program that has had no impact on reading comprehension.”
For more perspective on Reading First, people may want to check out Reid Lyon’s posts on the program on this blog, including this one. I also have commentary here.
Hey, Russ, if you’re so upset about the $1 billion per year spent on Reading First over the six years since NCLB passed, then riddle me this: the Department of Education spends $62 billion every year. Where is the evidence that any of that spending raises reading scores, or any other outcome of education?
The only difference between Reading First and the rest of the USDOE budget is that we conducted an empirical study to find out whether it worked or not. Like Socrates, Reading First is slightly better than all its neighbors at the USDOE, because while none of them works, Reading First knows that it doesn’t work.