Reading First Rebuttal Update

As you can imagine, I wanted to hear more when I saw Bob Sweet's rebuttal to Michael Grunwald's Washington Post article on Reading First from yesterday (Former House Staffer Takes On Washington Post Reading First Story), and wrote each of them asking if they wanted to talk.

No response yet from Sweet, who perhaps has had his say. Grunwald (who's not a regular education reporter) was kind enough to write back and say that he was fine with what he'd written, didn't agree with much of what Sweet had to say, and that he'd heard even more since he wrote the piece.

Not that this story is turning into the Halliburton-level scandal that it might have if we weren't three weeks out from the midterm elections, but it's still fascinating. Is this a heavy-handed law, implemented with a heavy hand, or is there really any criminal or financial angle? Why did SFA and DI get the cold shoulder, given their phonics underpinnings? And where has Chris Doherty gone to, anyway?


Blogger KDeRosa said...

The part of this story that is confusing the casual observer is that the states were the ones that were doing the selecting of programs. DoE could only prevent states from selecting programs lacking SBRR (i.e., whole language programs). They were prohibited from specifiying which of the SBRR programs could be selected. As a result, the states had the ultimate decision as to which SBRR program to choose. many elected not to choose DI or SfA. That's what it boils down to.

12:05 PM  
Blogger Alexander Russo said...

it's a good point, DKR, but, according to the IG report, the feds were leaning pretty hard. and state and locals often don't understand the limits of federal laws and do things because they think they have to. secretary riley used to call these misconceptions -- some of them perpetuated by USDE staff but others just based on rumor or misunderstanding -- "phantom regulations."

12:11 PM  

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