Friday, May 2, 2008

Six Billion Dollars Later

6 Billion Dollars Later, a Lot of Children Are Left Behind

As if you weren't convinced enough that the public school system is a failed one, a recent study has again proven the flaws in the No Child Left Behind program. According to the U.S. Department of Education (ironically, a champion of NCLB), studies show that schools using the Reading First program performed no better than schools that did not.

Reading First is an early phonics program designed by the government. $1 billion dollars of our taxes have gone to Reading First each year since the 2002 No Child Left Behind law was passed. Classrooms that use Reading First spend about 10 more minutes a day on reading lessons… resulting in no marked improvement as far as reading comprehension is concerned across the board.

One thing did improve in Reading First schools, however… their annual funding. They weren't the only ones who were being rewarded financially, either. According to the 2007 written testimony of John P. Higgins Jr., the Reading First program has been rife with corruption:

Through our work, we found that the Department:
1) appeared to inappropriately influence the use of certain programs and assessments;
2) failed to comply with statutory requirements and its own guidance;
3) obscured the requirements of the statute; and
4) created an environment that allowed real and perceived conflicts of interest.

It seems that the Three Rs now stand for revenue, revenue, revenue.

This post was contributed by Heather Johnson, who is an industry critic on the subject of university reviews . She invites your feedback at

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