Reading, Writing and Recriminations
Diana Lam's Whole Language Reading Reform

Letter to the Editor
New York Post
January 15, 2004

Re: Phonics: $34 Million - Diana Lam: 0

The Post's editorial ("Phonics: $34 Million - Diana Lam: 0," Jan. 10) overestimates Diana Lam by setting the financial backing for her reading reforms at zero. She's actually created for New York City a rather large deficit.

Quite aside from the inestimable cost to many New York City students' reading education in the critical formative years, Lam and her reading reforms have cost the city quite a large sum of money: her annual salary, plus the millions for professional development aligned with her just-ditched whole language reading reforms.

And she will cost the system more. For we can assume her contract includes a "buyout" clause affording handsomely for her early exit. In San Antonio, her dismissal cost the district $750,000. I shudder to anticipate how much she stands to receive, this time around.

Elizabeth Carson

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