In the above mentioned USA today article it was stated"Robert Slavin of the Success for All Foundation a non-profit research group that has developed its own reading materials, requested the investigation in May, saying Reading First officials have discouraged schools from using his materials despite evidence they are effective. He says Reading First relies on the work of 'consultants with major conflicts of interest.''' Then a day or two after, this letter from Susan Harman, principal, Growing Children charter school, Oakland ,appeared in the same paper.
Conflicts of interest in reading program
Slavin is right that federal consultants run the committees that review states' plans for buying the very expensive "reading" programs favored by Bush. He left out that some of the same "researchers" also sat on or were contributors to the National Reading Panel that defined "scientific" as those same programs. Conflicts of interest? Yes, sir.
The article says that "Congress is expected to distribute about $6 billion to schools by 2007." Actually, this money doesn't wind up at schools. It quickly passes through them to the few approved publishers, the most prominent of which is McGraw-Hill, run by old Bush family friend Harold McGraw III.
Slavin's complaint comes on the heels of an Aug. 4 request from the highly respected Reading Recovery Council of North America for a formal investigation of the U.S. Department of Education's actions in its implementation of Reading First...
Now I'm not a betting man but if I was I would be willing to bet nothing comes of this. And I'm pretty sure the mainstream media will not pick it up. Too many people with the right connections mare making too much money from this. As I have said before here, NCLB and Reading First with it are not about the kids as much as they are about making money for those people.