News Briefs: Archives 2011 & Earlier

Justice Investigates Reading First

The Justice Department has begun a probe of the Reading First program, one of the Bush administration’s signature efforts to boost youth literacy.

The $1 billion-a-year program provides grants to states to improve reading instruction for children in the primary grades, usually through tutoring and materials supplied by contractors.

According to several government reports, the Department of Education relied heavily on private contractors appointed to Reading First panels for advice on how to distribute the funds. Reports last year by the department’s inspector general charged that some of the contractors had pushed states to buy reading programs and materials with which they had financial connections. A recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report backs up those findings.

In March, Education Secretary Margaret Spellings told the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies that she will name an outside advisory committee to oversee implementation of Reading First.

Robert Slavin told the subcommittee that Spellings’ promise comes too late for services such as his – the nonprofit Success for All Foundation – that were shut out of Reading First services in many states. He said schools have already chosen their curricula. The department is essentially saying, after playing for eight innings with corked bats, “From now on, we’re using honest bats.

“It’s 23 to nothing. You can’t just say, ‘From now on.’ ”


Youth Today is the only independent, internationally distributed digital media publication that is read by thousands of professionals in the youth service field.

Youth Today adheres to high-quality journalistic standards, providing readers with professional news coverage dedicated to examining a wide spectrum of complex issues in the youth services industry from legislation to community-based youth work.


Our organization retains full authority over editorial content to protect the best journalistic and business interests of our organization. We maintain a firewall between news coverage decisions and sources of all revenue.


We are committed to transparency in every aspect of funding our organization. Donors may be quoted, mentioned or featured in our stories. Our news judgments are made independently – not based on or influenced by donors. Accepting financial support does not mean we endorse donors or their products, services or opinions…(read more)

Recent Comments




Kennesaw State University Mountain Logo & Ceneter for Sustainable Journalism Logo
LOGO Institute for Nonprofit News 3 turquoise boxes stacked in "J" shape

Copyright © 2018 Youth Today and MVP Themes --- Published by Center for Sustainable Journalism,
Kennesaw State University, 1200 Chastain Blvd. Suite 310, Kennesaw GA 30144

To Top