Students in the $6 billion Reading First program have not made greater progress in understanding what they read than have peers outside the program, according to a congressionally mandated study.
The final version of the study, released November 18, 2008, by the U.S. Department of Education, found that students in schools that use Reading First, a program at the core of the No Child Left Behind law, scored no better on comprehension tests than students in similar schools that do not get the funding.
"It is a program that needs to be improved," said Grover J. "Russ" Whitehurst, director of the Institute of Education Sciences, the department's research arm. "I don't think anyone should be celebrating that the federal government has spent $6 billion on a reading program that has had no impact on reading comprehension." Read the article in The Washington Post online.