Former U.S. Rep. Anne Northup’s Reading First (part of No Child Left Behind) initiative turned out to be a massive failure. A failure to the tune of something like $6 billion.
A study released last month by the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance is quite revealing. Though the program improved total class time spent on the essential components of reading, “Reading First did not have statistically significant impacts on student reading comprehension test scores in grades 1-3.”
No one doubts Northup’s dedication to children and improving their lives. I mean, she practices what she preaches and has gone so far as to spread her love through adoption– something every single one of you reading this should consider. But the report means that the program was so terrible that even with hugely increased classroom and study time, there was basically no impact at all on reading comprehension scores. You can read the full report by clicking here.
That’s all fine and dandy but it gets better. During a Northup for Congress campaign luncheon on September 5, 2002, George W. Bush called Reading First Anne Northup’s “biggest contribution.”
“But Anne’s biggest contribution– and I mean, a significant contribution– was to fight for and get funding for a Reading First initiative.”
Regardless of Dubya’s historic 71% disapproval rating, that’s gotta sting a bit. I mean, her “biggest contribution” turning out to be a massive failure all.
Was this her signature moment in Congress?