November 12, 2003, Extra Credit
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November 12, 2003
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 November 10
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Parents And Teachers Agree: No Child Left Behind Reading First Program Is Producing Results

The No Child Left Behind Reading First program provides grants to help schools and districts improve children's reading achievement through scientifically proven methods of instruction. Triton Elementary School in Bourbon, Ind., received a $219,000 grant and, as reported by the Times-Union of Warsaw, "teachers are already seeing positive results." Following are excerpts from a recent article, "Triton Teachers See Reading Grant Results," in the Times-Union:

"Triton Elementary School teachers are already seeing positive results from a $219,000 grant the school received as part of the federal government's No Child Left Behind Act. A committee from Triton Elementary reported on the program to the school board Monday. The grant money is being used to fund the Reading First program in the school's kindergarten through third grade classes. The program involves both teachers and students and focuses on increasing individual students' reading levels during the critical early elementary school years."

"According to Reading First grant coordinator Peggy Hill, the most important part of the program is the professional development acquired by the teachers. 'Teaching reading today really is rocket science,' Hill said. Since the awarding of the grant in May, Triton Elementary teachers have been receiving training in implementing Reading First strategies into their teaching. They learn how to use the information they gain from assessments to modify the instruction they provide their classes, and they learn how to make decisions in the classroom that will benefit their strategies."

"Triton second-grade teachers Dawn Gould and Lorri Gabhart reported to the board that they are seeing success of the program in their classrooms. Gould said the assessment scores in her class are steadily rising and she is gaining valuable information on her students' individual progress by putting them in smaller groups for reading time. Gabhart said her students are feeling more responsibility and control in their learning. She said the individual attention the program provides empowers them and actually speeds their improvement. Becky Carswell, mother of a Triton Elementary second-grader, said she's seen results from Reading First. 'My son was in this program and I cannot say enough about it,' Carswell said. 'It is excellent. After six weeks, I could see a difference. It's a wonderful program.'"

The complete text of the Times-Union article can be found online.


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NCLB Extra Credit is a regular look at the No Child Left Behind Act, President Bush's landmark education reform initiative passed with bipartisan support in Congress.

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Last Modified: 11/17/2003