From: U.S. Department of Education [mailto:OPA@ed.gov]
Sent: Thursday, June 26, 2008 5:06 PM
To: U.S. Department of Education
Subject: FYI - Reading First Letter from Secretary Spellings
FYI - You may be interested in the following letter sent from U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings to Senator Robert Byrd, Senator Thad Cochran, Senator Edward Kennedy, Senator Michael Enzi, Congressman David Obey, Congressman George Miller, Congressman Howard "Buck" McKeon and Congressman Jerry Lewis.
June 25, 2008
Reading is the skill on which all other learning depends.?? And so it is with disappointment I note recent Appropriations Subcommittee actions to eliminate critical funding for the groundbreaking Reading First program.
The program's origins trace back to a historic and bipartisan Congressional vote to create the National Reading Panel.?? The panel examined more than 20 years of scientific research to determine the most effective methods of reading instruction.
Reading First applies these findings to the classroom and to training teachers in the use of scientifically based reading research to improve the literacy skills of more than 1.6 million students.?? State-reported performance data released this month indicates impressive gains in reading comprehension, with improvements seen by nearly every grade and subgroup of students.?? For example, 28 of 37 States that reported data experienced increases in the percentage of students proficient in reading comprehension.?? Of these, 25 States increased by five percentage points or more.
It is extremely regrettable, therefore, that the...