The Ed Dept. announced a new round of Early Reading First grants this week, with 31 applicants from 19 states sharing $106 million. The federal preschool literacy initiative will maintain its funding level, which has held steady since the program was instituted in 2002, even as Reading First is threatened with extinction.
Luckily for Early Reading First it has not been associated with the controversy of Reading First, which became a political pawn in the federal budget because of allegations of mismanagement and confusing or inconclusive studies on its effectiveness (background here).
Early Reading First is also popular among grantees, although it has gotten little of the attention of its bigger sibling (ERF has been funded at about $100 million, RF at $1 billion a year since they were launched in 2002). But I’m not aware of any studies that prove it has been effective. An evaluation released last year found limited effects, as reported here.
Have there been any other studies on this?
A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.