News in Brief: A Washington Roundup

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Bush Names Director for 'Reading First' Program

Christopher J. Doherty, the director of a private organization that manages whole-school-reform programs in the Baltimore school system, has been named to head President Bush's Reading First initiative.

Mr. Doherty has helped implement highly structured curriculum programs, such as Direct Instruction and Core Knowledge, in Baltimore as well as in schools in Chicago, Kenya, and Warsaw, Poland, over the past seven years. He also served as a Foreign Service officer for the Department of State from 1988 to 1994.

As the director of the $900 million reading initiative passed as part of the revised Elementary and Secondary Education Act, Mr. Doherty will oversee the development of grant requirements, assist state officials in submitting applications, and monitor the achievement of students, school, and district receiving money under the Reading First program.

Applications for the grants will be available beginning in March.

—Kathleen Kennedy Manzo

Department Offers Research Grants

The Department of Education is offering up to $3 million in new grants for research intended to bring advances in cognitive science to bear on classroom problems.

"Cognitive science and neuroscience have been dynamic areas of research over the past 15 years," the department said in its grant announcement last month. "Although this research has identified key processes of attention, memory, and reasoning that are essential for learning, it has yet to be systematically applied to significant educational problems."

Federal officials are hoping to bridge the gap between the research and its applications for the classroom by underwriting the new grants, which were announced Dec. 18 in the Federal Register. Signaling the urgency the department is attaching to the program, the announcement came even before the federal rules for it were drawn up.

Ranging in size from $75,000 to $500,000, the 10 awards can pay for up to three years of research. The department advised researchers interested in pursuing the funding for their own work to submit letters of intent by Feb. 5.

More information is available from the Education Department.

—Debra Viadero

Vol. 21, Issue 18, Page 22

Published in Print: January 16, 2002, as News in Brief: A Washington Roundup
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