Opinion
Reading & Literacy Letter to the Editor

In Reading, a Scandal Without Consequences

March 20, 2007 1 min read

To the Editor:

It seems that in Washington there are scandals, and then there are scandals.

In February, The Washington Post ran a series of articles on the neglect and mistreatment of wounded soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Generals have been fired and heads have rolled. And that’s as it should be.

We’ve now had a series of reports from the U.S. Department of Education’s inspector general on the implementation of the multibillion-dollar Reading First program, part of the No Child Left Behind Act. Not one congressional hearing has yet been held. Despite the recommendations of the inspector general’s reports, only one scapegoat has been permitted to resign. No investigations of violations of the law have been initiated by the attorney general. No grand juries have been convened. And the national press and media have virtually ignored the whole scandal.

When Education Week went through the mountain of e-mails released by the Education Department under the Freedom of Information Act (“E-Mails Reveal Federal Reach Over Reading?” Feb. 21, 2007), it found numerous messages that seem to involve conspiracies by Education Department and Nation Institute of Child Health and Human Development functionaries and their paid consultants to violate and misrepresent the law. And yet those very violations were excused by ranking authorities as being necessary to force teachers and administrators to use reading programs and tests labeled “scientific” by their own authors, with no supporting evidence for the particular programs and tests.

We need to insist that those responsible for mistreating our returning servicemen and -women be punished. And we must also insist that those abusing the children of these returning servicepeople—and the rest of the children in American schools—also be punished.

We need to fully air the impact of Reading First, and NCLB as a whole, before the No Child Left Behind Act is reauthorized for another, even more disastrous five years. Thanks to Education Week for its full reporting of the Reading First scandals.

Kenneth S. Goodman

Professor Emeritus

Department of Language,

Reading, and Culture

College of Education

University of Arizona

Tucson, Ariz.

A version of this article appeared in the March 21, 2007 edition of Education Week as In Reading, a Scandal Without Consequences

Events

Student Well-Being Webinar Boosting Teacher and Student Motivation During the Pandemic: What It Takes
Join Alyson Klein and her expert guests for practical tips and discussion on how to keep students and teachers motivated as the pandemic drags on.
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
Student Well-Being Webinar
A Holistic Approach to Social-Emotional Learning
Register to learn about the components and benefits of holistically implemented SEL.
Content provided by Committee for Children
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
Student Well-Being Webinar
How Principals Can Support Student Well-Being During COVID
Join this webinar for tips on how to support and prioritize student health and well-being during COVID.
Content provided by Unruly Studios

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Interdisciplinary STEAM Specialist
Smyrna, Georgia
St. Benedict's Episcopal School
Interdisciplinary STEAM Specialist
Smyrna, Georgia
St. Benedict's Episcopal School
Arizona School Data Analyst - (AZVA)
Arizona, United States
K12 Inc.
Software Engineer
Portland, OR, US
Northwest Evaluation Association

Read Next

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
Reading & Literacy Whitepaper
These Top 5 Tips will help you get 90% of your Students Reading at Grade Level
So what does it take to get to achieve over 90% of students reading at or above grade level? Read our top 5 tips to find out!
Content provided by Learning Ovations
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
Reading & Literacy Whitepaper
The Best Kept Secret Every K-3 Literacy Initiative Needs
In this whitepaper, you will read about how our professional support system has been proven to get over 90% of students reading at, or above, grade-level.
Content provided by Learning Ovations
Reading & Literacy Spotlight Spotlight on the Science of Reading
In this Spotlight, review what the science says about reading and rediscover the struggles commonly seen.
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
Reading & Literacy Whitepaper
Disciplinary Literacy: Strategies for Success
In this white paper, Angela Singer suggests that it is the responsibility of all educators to incorporate literacy instruction that promo...
Content provided by Mentoring Minds