Home > Politics, Science Education > Apparently, reading is no longer fundamental

Apparently, reading is no longer fundamental

April 13, 2008

Just this last week, my daughter had her first AIMS test (Arizona’s standardized test) – an annual week of tests on reading, writing and math. In preparation, all "superfluous" subjects – such as science and social studies – were abandoned in the weeks before hand. Failing students result in failing schools and funding being pulled. So the superfluous gets abandoned and that annoys me.

Equally as annoying is that, in a time where literacy in this country is sub-standard and schools are being forced to teach to the test thanks to the No Child Left Behind act, the Reading is Fundamental program is being targeted by the Bush administration. Last year, 4.6 million at-risk children were able to choose and keep sixteen million free books through these programs. Without funding, a mere $26 million, RIF will cease. Consider: an F-16C/D fighter will set you back $19 million and B-2 bomber can be yours for between $737 million and $2.2 billion. The USAF has ~200 of the former and twenty of the latter. Twenty-six million just doesn’t seem that much, now does it?

You can send a letter to your congresscritter here.

[HT to bug_girl@Skepchick]

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  1. JYB
    April 13, 2008 at 8:31 pm

    I’m not sure if this makes you feel worse or better, but where I live (Silicon Valley) many students don’t even get social studies or science, much less art and music. There are more than a few middle schools by me that force kids to take 3 periods of reading/language arts and two periods of math. Add on 1 period of PE and that’s their whole day. For the whole year.
    I was a good student but given that schedule, I would have dropped out pretty early. If not in body, in spirit.

  2. April 14, 2008 at 7:30 am

    Thank you very much indeed for highlighting this. I’m coming across far too many people these days who can’t read as it is. Taking away funding from a program as humble and yet as important as this is another outrage among countless others. But I can understand why Bush and his ilk would want to do it. People who can read and comprehend what they read think, and thinkers are anathema to dictators.

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