The $6 billion Reading First program, part of the 2001 No Child Left Behind act (NCLB), accounts for just 2 percent of federal education spending. Yet this program for lifting reading achievement is already delivering promising results.
The common sense idea informing the legislation is that the best scientific research should guide the teaching of reading, particularly for disadvantaged students. But negative publicity stemming from recent reports by the Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General could put Reading First under a cloud when NCLB comes up for congressional reauthorization this year. That would be tragic for millions of children at risk for reading failure.
To see clearly what’s at stake in the reauthorization battle, Manhattan Institute has gathered an extraordinary panel of experts on the Reading First program, reading science, and the history of the reading pedagogy debate. As our luncheon speaker, U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings will then discuss the prospects for reauthorization of No Child Left Behind.
|PANEL DISCUSSION: READING FIRST AND READING SCIENCE
G. Reid Lyon, Former Chief, Child Development and Behavior Branch, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health
Diane Ravitch, Education historian; research Professor, New York University; and author of The Language Police: How Pressure Groups Restrict What Sudents Learn (Alfred Knopf, 2003), among other books
Rick Nelson, Former President, Fairfax County Federation of Teachers, Fairfax County Public Schools, Fairfax, Virginia
Maria Casby Allen, Parent Activist, Fairfax County Public Schools; Fairfax, Virginia
Moderator: Sol Stern, Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute
The Honorable Margaret Spellings, Secretary, U.S. Department of Education