Students enrolled in the $6 billion Reading First program on average made no more progress than their peers in first, second and third grade outside the program, in terms of understanding what they were reading, although first-graders in the program were better able to recognize individual letters and words than their peers in comparison schools, according to a new U.S. Department of Education report. "It is a program that needs to be improved," said Grover J. "Russ" Whitehurst, director of department's research branch. "I don't think anyone should be celebrating that the federal government has spent $6 billion on a reading program that has had no impact on reading comprehension."
Published in Brief: