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ERIC Number: EJ820797
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Dec-3
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0277-4232
Federal Path for Reading Questioned: "Reading First" Poor Results Offer Limited Guidance
Manzo, Kathleen Kennedy
Education Week, v28 n14 p1, 16-17 Dec 2008
This article reports on the results of a study undertaken by the U.S. Department of Education on the impact of the Reading First program, which offer little insight into which parts of the program are worth saving and which need revamping. The study found that the $6 billion spent on the program has helped students with basic decoding but not with understanding. However, the study's limited scope--the impact of the federal funding on reading comprehension--does not offer enough information to craft better plans or policies aimed at reform. The impact study, released by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) Nov. 18, is the only scientifically rigorous review of the grant program. Some of its findings are consistent with those state reports and independent surveys. More time is spent on structured reading instruction and teacher professional development, for example, in schools that received Reading First grants than in comparison schools. Among both students in the Reading First and non-Reading First schools examined in the study, reading achievement was low and had not improved significantly over the course of the three-year study. Fewer than half of 1st graders and less than 40 percent of 2nd and 3rd graders showed grade-level proficiency in their understanding of what they read. Yet, on a basic decoding test, 1st graders in Reading First schools scored significantly better than their peers in the comparison schools.
Editorial Projects in Education. 6935 Arlington Road Suite 100, Bethesda, MD 20814-5233. Tel: 800-346-1834; Tel: 301-280-3100; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A