The abuses revealed by federal investigations of the Reading First program show that elected officials' actions, though well-intentioned, led to the corruption and were "the predictable result" of an incomplete approach to legislation designed to improve school reform, writes Marc Dean Millot in this Education Week Commentary.
In place of purchasing new and innovative programs from the private sector, as the legislation aimed to do, officials left the making of a new market to a traditional syndicate, the "deeply entrenched purchasing relationship" of school districts, federal and state education agencies, large multinational publishing firms and consultants, posits Millot.
The result was "insider relationships and inside deals" resulting in corruption that has hurt "students, taxpayers, political leaders behind reform, and the emerging school improvement industry."
What do you think? How should lawmakers and others guard against abuses in the emerging school improvement industry?