According to this CNN story,
. . .the Reading First program has been beset by conflicts of interest and willful mismanagement. It suggests the department broke the law by trying to dictate which curriculum schools must use.
Other juicy tidbits include:
It also depicts a program in which review panels were stacked with people who shared the director's views, and in which only favored publishers of reading curricula could get money.
One Bush official, Chris Doherty, program director for Reading First, was found to have said of he didn't approve of:
They are trying to crash our party and we need to beat the (expletive deleted) out of them in front of all the other would-be party crashers who are standing on the front lawn waiting to see how we welcome these dirtbags
A typical, unqualified slimeball Bush appointee who doens't give a damn about children and who has never taught a day in his life. The "party" he is referring to is paid for by the taxpayers at the expense of children's educations.
Other findings from found the Ed. Dept.:
- Botched the way it picked a panel to review grant applications, raising questions over whether grants were approved as the law requires (Botched? No. Deliberately loaded up the panel giving out the grants? Yes.)
- Screened grant reviewers for conflicts of interest, but then failed to identify six who had a clear conflict based on their industry connections. (I wonder if those 6 had connections to McGraw-Hill?)
- Did not let states see the comments of experts who reviewed their applications (Why should they? They've been ignoring the comments of professional educators for years)
- Required states to meet conditions that weren't part of the law (why let a little thing like the LAW get in your way when your friends need to make some money?)
- It says he (Doherty) repeatedly used his influence to steer money toward states that used a reading approach he favored, called Direct Instruction, or DI (Wonder what kind of deals were made to make sure DI received that money?)
Spellings, of course, knows nothing about it all. I predict very shortly there will be editorials from Jay Mathews claiming the investigation is riddled with inaccuracies. Look for it by the end of the week.