Stager Takes Reading First and NCLB Behind the Woodshed

963329_bygone_era_1Don’t miss Gary Stager’s scathing take down of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) over at the Huffington Post.

He cites a recent review by the Department of Education’s Institute for Education Sciences that stated:

“The program did not increase the percentages of students in grades one, two or three whose reading comprehension scores were at or above grade level.”

From there he goes on to compare it to the Iraq War and Katrina. Ouch!

“The failure of Reading First represents more than a course correction for a well-intentioned attempt to benefit the nation’s children. Reading First was rife with politics, contempt for professional educators and conflicts of interest from the outset. It is particularly ironic that an administration insistent that every classroom practice must adhere to “scientifically-based research,” to the exclusion of research it did not like, continues to insist that Reading First should be the law of the land, despite its own evidence to the contrary.”

The Huffington Post is a left leaning blog, so it isn’t a surprise to see this there. But this isn’t just a “I beg to differ” post, the tone is absolutely acid towards those who continue to push the program out of ideology despite data that clearly shows it isn’t working.

Expect to see more of this as the Bush term winds down and we head into reauthorization of the act.

What this may mean – if people are emboldened to take NCLB on like this it may be a bigger battle than many have been anticipating.

Link to the DOE report is here.

NY Times Article on the DOE Report is here.