In Defense Of Reading First...And Friendship?

Fordham's Mike Petrilli really really ratches up the indignation in this post (Reading Last), in which Petrilli points out that RF director Chris Doherty (right) was only doing what Congress asked him to do, cites studies that show that the program is actually working, and lambasts the press for missing these things and the USDE and Congress and (especially) Spellings for not defending a program they collectively designed, enacted, and implemented -- or the man they hired to do the job.

These are most of them very good points, and some of them (esp. about Spellings) I've made in the past. My only problem is that Petrilli was in the USDE then, too, and should discuss what if any role he had in RF implementation, whether he knows Doherty personally, etc. (It seems clear he does. He mentions him admiringly in a HotSeat interview here.) My only question is what Petrilli's statement will offend Administration and Hill Republicans enought to hinder big Fordham initiatives like national testing and WSF.

UPDATE: Petrilli says that he's identified as a former USDE official in the NRO version of this commentary, and that he and Chris are friends. Meanhwile, Senator Harkin (but not Sen. Kennedy, far as I know), joins Congressman Miller in issuing a press release calling for action on the situation. Miller called for a criminal investigation. Harkin calls for a look into what Spellings knew, and when she knew it.


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