Forget the Drumbeat, Its a RF Orchestra

Need proof that Reading First is working in classrooms throughout the United States?  Need to see for yourself that teachers have embraced the law and the impact it is having on students?  All you have to do is check out the throngs of teachers and school leaders assembled here in Nashville for the National Reading First Conference.

In Tennessee this week, representatives from RF districts across the nation are here to continue to learn and improve their practice.  They are here to ensure that research-proven practice will continue to permeate the schools.  They are here to continue building on their understanding of the research base.  And they are here to celebrate the law.

Eduflack will be posting observations from the conference throughout the week.  We have First Lady Laura Bush addressing the assembly today.  Noted reading researcher Tim Shanahan is slated to discuss ELL.  But the important discussions will be in the breakouts and the hallways, as these passionate educators share their personal experiences with one another, turning the entire week into an extended teaching moment.

Hopefully, this isn’t the swan song for RF.  If Congress continues its ways, and fails to pass the FY2009 budget, Reading First will receive an additional year of funding (albeit at the lower FY2008 funding level).  And maybe, just maybe, a new President and a new EdSec will find a way to save the law.  We owe that glimmer of hope to each and every educator gathered here this week, who refuse to give up and remain committed to ensuring every student gains the reading skills they need to succeed.

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