In a recent blog, Michael Petrilli states that "NAEP scores in fourth-grade reading jumped significantly, especially for the low-income, low achieving students who were Reading First’s focus."
I discussed this claim in Krashen (2006), pointing out, as others have, that the jump was not related to Reading First. In addition, I discuss other cases in which Reading First was considered to be succussful, and point out that the data is not clear at all.
Krashen, S. 2006. Did reading first work? ninglunbooks.files.wordpress.com/2008/01/krashen_reading_first.pdf
(To access this article, please google "Did reading first work? Krashen" and click on the pdf.) I will post it on www.sdkrashen.com soon.)
Petrilli also refers to whole language as "discredited" and "ineffectual." There is plenty of evidence that whole language (not "whole-word") is effective, reviewed in these papers and in one book:
Krashen, S. 1999. Three Arguments Against Whole Language and Why They are Wrong. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann Publishing Co.
Krashen, S. 2002. The NRP comparison of whole language and phonics: Ignoring the crucial variable in reading. Talking Points, 13(3): 22-28.
Krashen, S. 2002. Defending whole language: The limits of phonics instruction and the efficacy of whole language instruction. Reading Improvement 39 (1): 32-42.
Krashen, S. 2002. Whole language and the great plummet of 1987-92: An urban legend from California. Phi Delta Kappan 83 (10): 748-753.
Petrilli blog: "On Tony Bennett’s “grading-gate,” avoid the rush to judgment" Michael J. Petrilli / July 30, 2013 http://www.edexcellence.net/commentary/education-gadfly-daily/flypaper/2013/on-tony-bennetts-grading-gate-avoid-the-rush-to-judgment.html