Congress attacking Direct Instruction?
A few weeks ago I wrote a post about trying to make more people aware of how effective Direct Instruction has been proven to be, especially in teaching basic skills. I thought it was scandalous that most colleges of education ignore Direct Instruction and continue to push more "progressive" methods of questionable effectiveness. With Congress seeming to be willing to investigate everything under the sun, and with so much attention on the effectiveness of K-12 education, I thought this would be an obvious target. Since I did that post, I've found that Congress is conducting an investigation involving Direct Instruction. But this investigation is happening not because DI is being ignored, but because its use is being encouraged.
Christopher J. Doherty, who oversaw the Reading First program from 2002 until last fall, is being accused of having stacked panels that were supposed to review state Reading First grants with Direct Instruction advocates. By doing this, they say that Direct Instruction was fraudulently presented as being at the top of an approved list of reading programs.
As I've said before, I'm a high school teacher, so when I start getting into elementary education programs, I'm out of my element, and I must admit that I know next to nothing about Reading First. Can someone explain to me what's going on here? I keep on reading on the blogs how fantastic Direct Instruction is, and it is often made to sound like a panacea for our nation's educational problems. Has someone in Congress determined that it's not that great after all? I would love to have someone, who knows a lot more about this than I do, fill me in on this.