Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Is all the hoopla about Reading First just self-serving baloney?

The government is letting READING FIRST evaluate its own reading program! In fact, it's paying them to do it!

The Associated Press writes:

"A billion-dollar- a-year federal reading program that ran into scathing criticism over conflicts of interest now has a new one: The government contractor that set up the program for the Education Department is also part of the team hired to evaluate it. Reading First -- part of President Bush's signature No Child Left Behind education law -- has been under scrutiny following a string of federal reports that found it rife with conflicts of interest and mismanagement. The program provides intense reading help to low-income children in the early elementary grades. RMC Research Corp. was the contractor hired to establish and implement the program starting in 2002, under three contracts worth about $40 million. Recently, the Department of Education inspector general reported that RMC failed to keep the program free of conflicts of interest. For example, RMC did not screen subcontractors for relationships with publishers of reading programs."

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