Sunday, September 24, 2006

Hey, Wait a Minute. What Does This Mean for ............ Neilsie?

Posted by olvlzl

"They are trying to crash our party and we need to beat the (expletive deleted) out of them in front of all the other would-be party crashers who are standing on the front lawn waiting to see how we welcome these dirtbags,"

This is the reaction of Chris Doherty, director of the Department of Educations billion-dollar slush fun... un reading program in reaction to an audit that will make interesting reading once I track down a copy.

And how did that forthright Secretary of Education, Margaret Spellings react? "When something undermines the credibility of this department, or the standing of any program, I'm going to spring into action.” Haven’t we all ridden in cars with springs like that?

Some of the charges made against the disgracefully run program in the audit report according to the AP:

“_Botched the way it picked a panel to review grant applications, raising questions over whether grants were approved as the law requires.

_Screened grant reviewers for conflicts of interest, but then failed to identify six who had a clear conflict based on their industry connections.

_Did not let states see the comments of experts who reviewed their applications.

_Required states to meet conditions that weren't part of the law.

_Tried to downplay elements of the law it didn't like when working with states.

The report does not name Doherty, referring to him as the Reading First director.”

And since I’ve gotten complaints that these weekend posts are humor impaired let me include this gem also from the AP story:

“It says he repeatedly used his influence to steer money toward states that used a reading approach he favored, called Direct Instruction, or DI. In one case, the report says, he was told a review panel was stacked with people who backed that program.

"That's the funniest part — yes!" he responded in e-mail dating to 2002. "You know the line from Casablanca, 'I am SHOCKED that there is gambling going on in this establishment!' Well, 'I am SHOCKED that there are pro-DI people on this panel!'"

Spellings took issue with the use of such e-mails in the audit. She said they could be used to draw unfair conclusions about a person's intentions.” Well, now who’s “Shocked,”.

And eager to wrap this up in the worst possible way let me conclude with:

“Chris Doherty, is resigning in the coming days, department spokeswoman Katherine McLane said Friday. Asked if his quitting was in response to the report, she said only that Doherty is returning to the private sector after five years at the agency. Doherty declined to comment.”