School & District Management Opinion

School Improvement RFP of the Week (1)

By Marc Dean Millot — May 12, 2008 3 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

What About These State Reading First Advisory Committees?

From Monday’s issue of K-12Leads and Youth Service Markets ReportAnnouncement: Reading First Team Due May 22 (May 2) Department of Public Instruction, North Dakota

Their Description:

The State of North Dakota, acting through its Department of Public Instruction, hereafter known as “STATE” is soliciting proposals for individuals to serve as Reading First Team Members.

STATE is seeking 15-20 individuals to serve as Reading First Team Members who will be trained and updated in the Reading First regulations and criteria; attend the National Reading First Conference or other related Reading First trainings offered throughout the country....

Reading First Team Members are comprised of teachers with a degree in elementary education or reading who also have experience in reading instruction, reading assessment, scientifically based reading research, professional development training, grant review, program evaluation and reading programs at the elementary level, which requires a high skill set to facilitate training to multiple schools. Knowledge of elementary education and reading experience is critical to facilitate work required for the Reading First Program....

Successful individuals must have an educational background and experience, the ability to travel, provide training and days for follow-up office work (if needed) to serve on the Reading First Team....

Preference will be given to individuals who:

• have a masters degree in education or similar field closely related to education
• have a degree in elementary education or reading
• have minimum three years experience with reading instruction for grades K-3
• have knowledge in Reading First programs
• have knowledge in scientifically based reading research

Team members must also have the knowledge in one or more of the following:

• reading programs (core programs, supplemental programs, and intervention programs)
• reading assessments
• analyzing data
• school leadership
• professional development training with emphasis in reading
• review of grants
• evaluation of programs...

The CONTRACTOR will establish safeguards to prohibit employees from using their positions for a purpose that constitutes or presents the appearance of personal or organizational conflict of interest or personal gain.

My Thoughts:
Some RFPs are about immediate sales. Others are about advancing or protecting one’s interests in a market. This is one of the latter.

It’s hard to meet the selection criteria without having some opinion about the reading programs available for sale in the market. These positions are going to be filled, and some providers will try to fill them with advocates. As an old Cold Warrior, I have to say it would be foolish for any school improvement provider not to participate in the process. In principle, pushing proponents onto this committees has conflict of interest implications. In practice, unilateral disarmament is not likely to create a level playing field. In our real world of poorly regulated competitive markets, a balance of conflicting interests may be the best we can hope for until the Reading First program - especially its Scientifically Based Reading Research provision - is cleaned up at the federal level.

As for the ultimate morality of this policy, consider theologian Reinhold Neihbur in Moral Man and Immoral Society (1932): “Civilization depends upon the vigorous pursuit of the highest values by people who are intelligent enough to know that their values are qualified by their interests and corrupted by their prejudices.” Or, from Christian Faith and the World Crisis (1941) “There are historic situations in which refusal to defend the inheritance of a civilization, however imperfect, against tyranny and aggression may result in consequences even worse than war.”

K-12Leads and Youth Service Markets Report is a comprehensive weekly web-enabled report delivered by email on Monday. It covers grant and contract RFPs issued by every federal and state education and social services agency and every school district over the internet. K-12Leads is for school improvement providers who understand that their offerings are not commodities, rarely displayed as such, and so easily missed by traditional computer-based “word search” systems.

Related Tags:

The opinions expressed in edbizbuzz are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Budget & Finance Webinar
Innovative Funding Models: A Deep Dive into Public-Private Partnerships
Discover how innovative funding models drive educational projects forward. Join us for insights into effective PPP implementation.
Content provided by Follett Learning
Budget & Finance Webinar Staffing Schools After ESSER: What School and District Leaders Need to Know
Join our newsroom for insights on investing in critical student support positions as pandemic funds expire.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Student Achievement Webinar
How can districts build sustainable tutoring models before the money runs out?
District leaders, low on funds, must decide: broad support for all or deep interventions for few? Let's discuss maximizing tutoring resources.
Content provided by Varsity Tutors for Schools

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management Quiz What Do You Know About the Most Influential People in School Districts? Take Our Quiz
Answer 7 questions about the superintendent profession.
1 min read
Image of icons for gender, pay, demographics.
School & District Management Opinion I Invited My Students to Be the Principal for a Day. Here’s What I Learned
When I felt myself slipping into a springtime slump, this simple activity reminded me of my “why” as an educator.
S. Kambar Khoshaba
4 min read
052024 OPINION Khoshaba PRINCIPAL end the year with positivity
E+/Getty + Vanessa Solis/Education Week via Canva
School & District Management The Complicated Fight Over Four-Day School Weeks
Missouri lawmakers want to encourage large districts to maintain five-day weeks—even as four-day weeks grow more popular.
7 min read
Calendar 4 day week
School & District Management From Our Research Center Principal Salaries: The Gap Between Expectation and Reality
Exclusive survey data indicate a gap between the expectations and the realities of principal pay.
4 min read
A Black woman is standing on a ladder and looking into the distance with binoculars, in the background is an ascending arrow.