Everyone Loves Reading First, Says Report

There's a new report out that says that, while Reading First has been scandal-ridden at the national level, local districts still like it. Or at least the folks getting the money say they do. "Overall, more than three-fourths of states and two-thirds of districts with Reading First grants reported that the program’s assessment and instructional programs were important causes of gains in student achievement."

The report says that CPS has 111 Reading First schools, and that they interviewed folks at Carson and Pope elementary schools. Chicago only gets mentioned a few times. Once, to illustrate how hard it is when reading materials get changed: "In the Chicago Public Schools, Reading First schools were offered five different reading programs to choose from. Schools gave this “mixed reviews,” said Carmel Perkins, the district’s Reading First manager."

CPS is also used as an example of a district that has seen "success" in Reading First schools and have attempted to use these successful elements of Reading First districtwide. This includes the use of DIBELS, of course. "One Chicago official, Jodi Dodds Kinner, director of elementary literacy, talked in detail about the kind of data collected by the University of Illinois and its impact on instruction: They gave us wonderful information that we were able to use to make adjustments to our program, adjustments at the school level as well . . . "

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