The ideal vehicle for amending and updating the findings of the National Reading Panel is in place, Ed Week’s Kathleen Kennedy Manzo helpfully reminded me. Her article here explains it all. (subscription required). As this previous posting explained, millions of children are about to show up in schools that offer children reading programs that may or may not be effective. Rather than gut the federal Reading First program, now under a cloud of suspicion, shouldn’t Congress force a review and update of the National Reading Panel conclusions? A lot of new reading research has become available in recent years.
Well, pigs don’t need to learn to fly while awaiting action from Congress. The Commission on Reading Research is more than up to that chore, but the U.S. Department of Education keeps delaying its launch. How bad is the delay? Oh, nearly five years. Why the delay? Hard to say for sure, but it’s easy to speculate that DOE has feared a review would force a few curves into the department’s very straightforward reading strategy. Guess that leaves the review for the next Congress and new President.
–Guest blogger Richard Whitmire