To the Editor:
It’s not surprising that school districts and administrators like the Reading First program and want to save it (“‘Reading First’ Funds Headed for Extinction,” July 16, 2008). Of course they do—they love having the extra funding it brings in and don’t want to lose it. And not only does Reading First boost budgets in districts that are perpetually short of money, it also pays for a lot of extra staff members.
What if districts were told that they would get the same amount of money for reading instruction, but could use it in any way they wanted, such as by improving libraries, buying classroom books, or, heaven forbid, training teachers in literature circles and old “whole language” techniques? I wonder if those in charge would embrace the Reading First dictates as wholeheartedly as they seem to, if they had some way of keeping the money without the strings.
Dual Immersion Facilitator
A version of this article appeared in the July 30, 2008 edition of Education Week as ‘Reading First’ Enthusiasm May Have a Financial Source