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Coming in June
Volume V, Number 4, April, 2007

You call this Science?

"Unacceptable" Program
Suddenly Gets High Grades

Education Week - April 12, 2006: "Study Supports ‘Success for All’ Reading Method"
by Kathleen Kennedy Manzo
A reading program that its developer contends has been shunned by some federal and state officials has again been proved to help poor and minority children ...

For several years, the Director of Reading First, Chris Doherty and his team pushed favored reading programs and shunned others, urging states and districts to select favorites even though the law specifically prohibited those actions.

Now a different section of the Ed Department has rated "Success for All" a highly successful program, directly challenging and contradicting the harsh views of the Reading First team. Doherty and two Ed secretaries justified such strong arm tactics as a logical effort to steer schools to programs that worked, but this new report makes a joke of their so-called science. In direct conflict with the law's prohibition against pushing particular programs, they did just that, ignoring other programs they did not like and throwing the weight of the federal government behind their favorites.

It is ironic that free market proponents would argue for school choice while not allowing it when it came to reading programs, dictating which programs would receive approval and funding while condemning others to unfunded ignominy. But such philosophical inconsistencies and contradictions have plagued NCLB since its inception.

While one segment of the Administration was arguing against the federal regulation of many sectors of the society, relaxing air quality standards and reducing the enforcement efforts of the EPA on the one hand, another segment, the Ed Department, was introducing a level of school regulation that was reminiscent of a Stalinist state planning approach. Within that same department there were arguments made for the glories of charter schools unhampered by regulation and free to experiment.

While applying a strait jacket to public schools, the Ed Department was eager to launch thousands of free market schools that would be regulation free. Apparently, science was only important for the leaders of public schools. Charter schools could apply common sense, voodoo or whatever other magic they wished since they were blessed by their free market qualities, even though there was no research evidence to support this wishful thinking.

© 2007, Jamie McKenzie, all rights reserved. Articles may be e-mailed to individuals by individuals, but all other duplication, distribution, publication and use is prohibited without first receiving explicit permission. Contact for information.