Northup’s ‘Reading First’ a Huge Failure

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?

Thursdays aren’t as good as Fridays.

The Justice Department is asking Greg Fischer to stop using its seal in his attack ad. Hrm. Yet another campaign blunder. Imagine that. [PolWatchers]

Even the dirty liberal media thinks the RPK fears Lunsford. Rightly so. [The Arena]

The reality-based community voting Democrats in Kentucky are tired of the U.S. Senate race. And guess what? They realize, love it or hate it, that the Lunsford writing is on the wall come May 20. Despite a few who believe it’s still possible for Greg Fischer to win and pee themselves anyone points out that Lunsford is the nominee. [BITB]

Former night club owner Ken Shapero is now handling Greg Fischer’s press and really seems hung up on picking apart Vencor. Hrm. Oh, the name of the actress in Fischer’s misleading attack ad is Dale Carter Cooper, who is from Louisville. [C-J]

Ben Chandler’s office received 154 favorable, 89 unfavorable emails about Chandler’s recent endorsement of Barack Obama for president. Did you know? People are afraid of Rev. Wright and Barack Osama. So afraid. It’s so evil of Ben to actually endorse somebody but perfectly all right for others to do so. [PolWatchers]

Virginia Fox, former head of KET and education secretary for Ernie Fletcher, is refusing to step down from her seat on the Council for Postsecondary Education. Steve Beshear is demanding that she resign, though she was confirmed by the state senate. [H-L]

Did you know? Hillary Clinton’s campaign is push polling. We forgot to share this with you a few days ago. You’ll enjoy it or hate it, obviously. [Politico]

It’s Wednesday. Political Fur is Flying Edition.

Bruce Lunsford tells the truth about Greg Fischer’s big name supporters. Finally. It’s hilariously true. Christie & Owsley will probably try to raise a million or two for McConnell to get political revenge. “It kind of centers around four or five families and a few progressives, and the rest of the state, especially outside of Louisville, barely know who they are,” Lunsford said of Fischer’s campaign. “It’s more of an east-end, upper-echelon, second- and third-generation crowd.” Hrm. And another disconnected individual gets upset at Bruce because they don’t like reality. [The Hill, Ditch Mitch]

In the wake of the controversy/disagreement/whatever surrounding the Council on Postsecondary Education and Governor Beshear, Brad Cowgill has resigned. Regardless of your personal opinion, now Steve Beshear gets what he a wants– a national search for Cowgill’s replacement. [Hebert]

With stories like these, we’re not sure how Holocaust education isn’t mandated in all of Kentucky’s schools. Without it we’ll continue to have genocidal maniacs like those in Darfur, Rwanda and Nazi Germany. [C-J, C-J]

This has nothing to do with Kentucky, but check out this Greene County (MO) Sheriff’s comments on former “American Idol” contestant Jason Yeager. “The way I hear Jason sing the national anthem makes you want to go out and kill a communist,” Merritt said. “If that doesn’t make you patriotic, nothing will.” HAHAHAHA. What. [News-Leader]

Jack Conway Says CPE Violated the Law

Ruh ro. Attorney General Jack Conway just announced that the Council on Postsecondary Education violated the law when appointing Brad Cowgill as president.

From PolWatchers:

Conway issued a 12-page opinion Thursday afternoon in response to a request from Gov. Steve Beshear, who opposed the hiring of Cowgill, who has served as the council’s interim president since September.

Commence to foaming at the mouth in the comments section.

Late Tuesday Afternoon Dept of Newsy Stuff

We participated in a conference call with Congressman John Yarmuth earlier but are too disinterested to write about it. Suffice to say: Yarmuth, who is apparently one of the only actual Democrats in Kentucky, said John McCain is ill-equipped to, you know, do anything. We wish more people had the guts to say what they think and believe like John Yarmuth seems to always do. [PolWatchers]

Beshear named Bob Gable and George Russell to the Kentucky Board of Elections at the last minute. Thank goodness someone finally got the nod? Who cares that it took months and months to just pick someone? [The Arena]

Joe, one of Kentucky’s best bloggers, explains things in plain English for Greg Fischer and Crazy Shark Lady: Right attack + wrong time = gift for Mitch. [Barefoot & Progressive]

The mainstream press points out how silly it was of Greg Fischer to only mention his name once in his latest campaign ad. So much for developing name I.D. and all that jazz. [PolWatchers]

Uncle Steve is scaling back on his Kentucky Derby party this year. Only 250 guests and coctails at the governor’s mansion. Gone are the days of pageantry and such thanks to our lovely economy. [C-J]

The Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education may reject some state college requests for tuition rate hikes, according to Mark Hebert. Music to your ears, students? [Hebert]

It’s Thursday. Send us your hooker & coke money.

Business First, Louisville’s publication for conservative types in business is conducting a poll. They ask, “What is the most important issue in the presidential campaign?” 45% pick the economy, 21% pick the war in Iraq, 12% pick taxes, 9% other, 7% health care, 5% energy alternatives, 1% trade agreements. So Iraq is still a major issue with conservatives. Imagine that. [Business First]

Transy students to hold phone rally today for Sudanese refugee Lino Nakwa, whom we first told you about on Tuesday. A table is set up in Haupt Plaza on campus with telephones and information for you to contact Sen. McConnell, Rep. Chandler and other elected officials to register your complaints. [H-L]

House Speaker Pro-Tem Larry Clark says he’s embarrassed to be a part of House leadership in Kentucky. So, when’s it gonna be, Larry? When will you and the rest of the sorry lot in leadership step aside for new blood to move in? Maybe someone else could actually get things accomplished. [Hebert]

Steve Beshear is unhappy with the hiring of Brad Cowgill and referred it to the Office of the Attorney General. He wants to know if the spirit of the law has been violated. And we want to know if we’ll ever see leadership out of the governor so many broke their backs to elect. Not that we disagree with him on this one, there are just far more important pokers in the fire. [H-L]

Is Republic Bank of Louisville the new payday loan shark? We have a feeling this bad press isn’t going to make them very happy today. Where’s the mainstream media on this one? [Ralph Long]

Rep. Geoff Davis refuses to detail war simulation event that allegedly took place with Barack Obama. But Obama didn’t offer details, either. So. Who to hate this time? [PolWatchers]

Tuesday Updates. Almost Afternoon Edition.

Anyone having issues with Insight Communications today? If so, we’d love to hear about it. Dealing with Insight’s horrible customer service wasn’t frustrating enough so we want to hear your complaints.

Geoff Davis apologized to Barack Obama for referring to him as “boy” in the most racist slip-up in Kentucky in easily a few weeks. The dude may not have meant it in a racist manner but that doesn’t negate the fact that it was said. Will anyone in the 4th District actually care either way? [PolWatchers]

Brad Cowgill now heads Kentucky’s higher education system and Steve Beshear is NOT happy. Words like “very disappointed” and “bulldozed” were used. [Hebert]

The gubernatorial run-off is dead. Is that exciting? [The Arena]

Apparently it’s the end of the world that we aren’t attacking Trey Grayson. Some people are still hung up on the fact that former candidate (who wouldn’t campaign or raise money) Bruce Hendrickson lost to Grayson in the fall. And some people who are afraid to leave comments with their own name enjoy spreading complete horse crap. Oh, these fancy internets. [TRD]