School & District Management

Reading Chief for NICHD Is Appointed

By Kathleen Kennedy Manzo — March 07, 2006 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Peggy McCardle, a key aide to her influential and controversial predecessor, has been confirmed as the new chief of the branch of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development that oversees federal research on reading and math disabilities.

Before her confirmation by the institute’s leadership last month, she served as the acting chief of the child-health and -development branch of the federal agency since G. Reid Lyon was reassigned last spring.

Ms. McCardle will oversee the branch’s $120 million annual grants budget and a new network of learning-disabilities research centers to be announced later this year. The institute is part of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. She also directs the branch’s research program on human learning and learning disabilities, which includes bilingual and adolescent literacy.

“Reid really pushed the K-6 findings on reading instruction, because that was where the major breakthrough was,” Ms. McCardle said last week. “But we’re at a different point with the research now. We need to push reading comprehension, and focus a lot of attention on older kids, although we’re not done … in K-6.”

The former speech-language pathologist became the associate director of the branch in 1999 after working as a senior adviser in the NIH’s office of the director.

Same Direction?

Mr. Lyon helped raise the profile of the NICHD and researchers financed by the branch as a chief adviser to the White House and Congress on reading research and policy. But some reading researchers maintained that he promoted a narrow view of reading research and its findings and dismissed the views of those with alternative viewpoints. (“Select Group Ushers in Reading Policy,” Sept. 8, 2004.)

As associate director, Ms. McCardle was charged with strengthening the branch’s collaboration with researchers and reading organizations, such as the International Reading Association. That effort was largely successful, according to IRA officials.

But others in the field question whether Ms. McCardle will provide a decidedly different kind of leadership over the direction of reading research.

“Although I understand she was once a classroom teacher, I see no evidence of grounded expertise in education, including reading,” said G. Michael Pressley, a professor of education at Michigan State University, in East Lansing. “She clings strongly to the evidence-based position as narrowly defined by the NICHD perspective of the past half-dozen years.”

Events

Reading & Literacy Webinar A Roadmap to Multisensory Early Literacy Instruction: Accelerate Growth for All Students 
How can you develop key literacy skills with a diverse range of learners? Explore best practices and tips to meet the needs of all students. 
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.
Sponsor
College & Workforce Readiness Webinar
Supporting 21st Century Skills with a Whole-Child Focus
What skills do students need to succeed in the 21st century? Explore the latest strategies to best prepare students for college, career, and life.
Content provided by Panorama Education
School & District Management K-12 Essentials Forum What Will It Take for Schools to Get Better?
Find out what educators and leaders can do to incite lasting and productive change that will make a difference in the lives of students.

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 Lacking Bus Drivers, Schools Make Tough Calls on Transportation
Three districts talk about how they've had to revise their transportation plans this school year and get the message to families.
6 min read
Three students wearing cloth face masks look out the windows of a yellow school bus.
Students in Freeport, Maine, head home on a school bus earlier this year.
Robert F. Bukaty/AP
School & District Management The Two Principals' Associations Are Growing Closer. Their Leaders' Priority? Listening
In an interview, the groups' new leaders described plans to work closer together—and shared ideas for the upcoming school year.
5 min read
Support mental health, leaders connecting jigsaw puzzle pieces making the shape of a large head
Collage by Gina Tomko/Education Week and Getty
School & District Management How to Re-Energize Teachers and Students This School Year
Educators shared suggestions on how schools can help students and teachers feel safe and connected.
5 min read
Guy E. Rowe Elementary School teacher Lisa Cooper paints shelves in her kindergarten class at the Norway, Maine, school on Aug. 17, 2022. She and many other teachers and administrators are spending countless hours volunteering their time and using their own money to buy supplies and materials for their students and classrooms.
Guy E. Rowe Elementary School teacher Lisa Cooper paints shelves in her kindergarten class at the Norway, Maine, school on Aug. 17.
Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal via AP
School & District Management What the Research Says Public School Enrollment Continues to Stagnate
Last fall's enrollment figures were still well below pre-pandemic levels, new federal data show.
3 min read
Scarce classroom of students taking exams at their desks with empty desks in the foreground.
iStock/Getty Images Plus