New Report: Reading First Impact Study

Posted by on November 24, 2008

Reading First boosts decoding, but not understanding

According to a congressionally mandated study, students in the $6 billion Reading First program are now better able to decode words but have made little progress in comprehension and are no more likely to be proficient readers than students who were not in the program, writes Education Week. The report, one of the largest and most rigorous undertaken by the U.S. Department of Education, found that among both the Reading First and comparison groups, reading achievement was low, with fewer than half of 1st graders, and fewer than 40 percent of 2nd and 3rd graders showing grade-level proficiency. Reading First, which has been dogged by mismanagement issues and allegations of conflicts of interest in the past few years, is facing the federal budget scalpel in 2009. The final report of the Reading First Impact Study is part of the $40 million evaluation process for the program.

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