Lawmaker Asks Criminal Probe of
U.S. Program Reading
By Paul Basken
Sept. 25 (Bloomberg) -- A Democratic congressman called for a criminal investigation after an audit found that a $1 billion federal program to improve reading among grade-school children was run by staff who steered contracts to favored publishers.
The Education Department's inspector-general last week recommended an overhaul of the ``Reading First'' program, part of the ``No Child Left Behind'' law, including removing directors and reviewing the propriety of their contract awards.
``The inspector-general's report raises serious questions about whether Education Department officials violated criminal law, and those questions must be pursued by the Justice Department,'' said Representative George Miller of California, the top-ranking Democrat on the House Education Committee.
Miller, in his statement, called the audit part of pattern in which the Education Department under President George W. Bush ``has repeatedly run afoul of ethical standards.''
Miller's office also cited an independent analysis published last year by the Washington-based American Institutes for Research that found the program favored by Reading First directors, a product of the McGraw-Hill Companies Inc., was one of only two programs to receive AIR's highest rating.
Billion-Dollar ProgramReading First distributes about $1 billion a year to states to spend on reading programs that the government agrees have scientifically proven effectiveness.. . . The rest here
"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972
. . .a pupil attitude factor, which appears to have a stronger relationship to achievement than do all the “school” factors together, is the extent to which an individual feels that he has some control over his own destiny. James Coleman, 1966