"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Succs For All: From One Form of Scripted Bullshit to Another

During the heyday of the Paige/Spellings federal disaster-in-motion-at-ED, Reid Lyon, Doug Carnine, Roland Good, and other disciples of Engelmann's Direct Instruction held sway, with Robert Slavin's brand of parrot reading shut out of the Reading First dollar bonanza. 

It is predictable to see Slavin re-emerging to claim his millions in delayed expertise, with another version of the same teacher-proofed crap passed off as reading instruction.  The only literacy approach that ever passed in all four categories of reading literacy was Reading Recovery, which is too expensive to encourage when you have billions to give away to the Oligarchs' sidekicks in the charter biz and the testing industry.  From an old post:
Six years ago when Margaret LaMontagne (Spellings), Reid Lyon, and Doug Carnine loaded the Reading First review panels with their direct instruction stooges and cronies, they set back reading instruction by decades, who knows how many. As ED's own Inspector General's reports have shown, states that applied for Reading First grants were manhandled into choosing reading programs aligned with the Lyon and Carnine back-to-brutality phonics orthodoxy. And if grantees ended up off the direct instruction reservation, Reid Lyon's Reading First Director, Chris Doherty, could simply pull the plug, as he did in Rockford, Illinois:
Mr. Doherty then directed the state to freeze the district’s funding, and ultimately to withdraw the grant. Those actions prompted another e-mail from Mr. Lyon: “wow – Talk about a guy with smarts, integrity AND balls,” he wrote. “I am talking about you Chris.”
The Lyon and Carnine Cabal's most hated reading program was the balanced literacy methodology of Reading Recovery, a holistic and humane literacy approach grounded by empirical research. It is suitably ironic, then, that Ed Week reports that Reading Recovery has emerged in the latest federal research from Spellings's own shop as the only program "found to have positive effects or potentially positive effects across all four of the domains in the review—alphabetics, fluency, comprehension, and general reading achievement:"
. . . .That program, Reading Recovery, an intensive, one-on-one tutoring program, has drawn criticism over the past few years from prominent researchers and federal officials who claimed it was not scientifically based.
Federal officials and contractors tried to discourage states and districts from using Reading Recovery in schools participating in the federal Reading First program, citing a lack of evidence that it helps struggling readers. . . .
How sweet it is!! It's just too bad that so many states are now stuck with the McGraw-Hill Open Court parrot reading system that they were force fed by hacks and crooks in order to get Reading First grants.

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