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Friday, September 22, 2006
  The Red Tape Of Reading First To prove how normal I am, I will discuss my sister Homer. She is PTO president at the school here. We have a pretty hip little elementary/middle school built about eight or nine years ago. As PTO president, she takes the education of her children (the ones who call me Tick) very seriously as well as the children in our community. She'll cut you, man. You mess with her kids and you're going down. As it should be. She is also not a fan of No Child Left Behind, but we aren't going to talk about that today, we are going to talk about this as it is more detailed.
A scorching internal review of the Bush administration's billion-dollar-a-year reading program says the Education Department ignored the law and ethical standards to steer money how it wanted.

The government audit is unsparing in its view that the Reading First program has been beset by conflicts of interest and willful mismanagement. It suggests the department broke the law by trying to dictate which curriculum schools must use.

It also depicts a program in which review panels were stacked with people who shared the director's views, and in which only favored publishers of reading curricula could get money.

Man, is she going to be pissed. When it comes down to her kids, she will go Mama Bear on you.

As, I believe, we all should. And there's more:

Spellings said the problems happened in the early days of the program, which began in 2002, before she was secretary. She said those responsible have left the agency or been reassigned.

About 1,500 school districts have received $4.8 billion in Reading First grants.

The audit found the department:

_Botched the way it picked a panel to review grant applications, raising questions over whether grants were approved as the law requires.

_Screened grant reviewers for conflicts of interest, but then failed to identify six who had a clear conflict based on their industry connections.

_Did not let states see the comments of experts who reviewed their applications.

_Required states to meet conditions that weren't part of the law.

_Tried to downplay elements of the law it didn't like when working with states.

The report does not name Doherty, referring to him as the Reading First director.

It says he repeatedly used his influence to steer money toward states that used a reading approach he favored, called Direct Instruction, or DI. In one case, the report says, he was told a review panel was stacked with people who backed that program.

Great. Just Great.

Image link.

 
Comments:
Here is the deal. The Federal Government needs to get out of the Education business and we need to get rid of the the Federal Education Department.
 
can these numbskulls even spell 'e t h i c s'?

I disagree with Mickeywhite..the federal government needs to be lead by people who believe that the government can do the right thing, rather than by people who don't believe in government who appoint people who prove their philosophy.

No Child Left Behind is a ludicrous overreach, but there are good federal programs involving special ed programs, English as a second language, etc.
 
I'm with Mickey. I think the Federal Education Department and the NEA have tried to make sweeping changes for isolated problem. Also, there's too much money and power there to be managed.

The NEA has a lot of other serious issues, as well, but they're too numerous to mention.

States should be able to determine what their kids need. It would be like a committee trying to parent 1,000 kids instead of letting parents that love them do it.
 
Take your pick of ANY federal program and/or bureaucracy and you’ll find similar problems. It is inherent in the nature of the beast. Waste and mismanagement are the norm, not the exception. That is why the solution to our Nation’s problems is not another government program. Many times it is the government program that is causing the problem
 
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