Bush administration: Bush reading program doesn’t work

U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige/March 18, 2003: “Reading First is a model for what No Child Left Behind is all about. The basic elements are clear: diagnose and address reading difficulties early; base instruction on what works; give teachers the training they need; constantly assess progress, and develop a state infrastructure to see it through. … Nevada and other states will help ensure that all children learn to read by the end of the third grade.”

New York Times/May 2, 2008: “President Bush’s $1 billion a year initiative to teach reading to low-income children has not helped improve their reading comprehension, according to a Department of Education report. … The program, known as Reading First, drew on some of Mr. Bush’s educational experiences as Texas governor, and at his insistence Congress included it in the federal No Child Left Behind legislation that passed by bipartisan majorities in 2001. … ‘Reading First did not improve students’ reading comprehension,’ concluded the report, which was mandated by Congress and carried out by the Department of Education’s research arm.”

Nevada’s Reading First website (www.nevadareading.org) contains no hint of the questions that have been raised about the program.