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Reading Association to Consider Conflict-of-Interest Proposal

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An International Reading Association committee will consider a proposal made at the group’s annual convention in Toronto last week that would require IRA board members to report their financial ties to publishers, federal agencies, and other organizations.

Members of the Wisconsin affiliate of the 80,000-member organization made the motion in a delegates’ assembly, they said, to give members information about potential conflicts of interest among the organization’s leadership. The motion was in response to reports on the federal Reading First program that found U.S. officials and consultants appeared to promote certain products when advising states applying for the grants.

The Newark, Del.-based IRA issued a statement last fall, after the first federal review on Reading First was released, critical of the “intentional mismanagement” of the $1 billion-a-year initiative.

The motion was referred to a committee because it did not meet requirements for a vote. IRA President Timothy Shanahan said that the proposal might be too stringent to get approved by the board, but that the association would likely draft conflict-of-interest guidelines in the future.

Vol. 26, Issue 38, Page 6

Published in Print: May 23, 2007, as Reading Association to Consider Conflict-of-Interest Proposal

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