National Reading Panel
The National Reading Panel was a US government advisory body formed in 1997 during the Clinton Administration. The aim of the National Reading Panel was to assess the effectiveness of the various teaching methods for reading among elementary age school children. The Panel’s report, issued in 2000, was used by President George W. Bush as part of his No Child Left Behind initiative.
In consultation with the Secretary of Education, the Director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), part of the National Institutes of Health, created the National Reading Panel. The chosen members were recognized experts in the field of education, reading and psychology.
The National Reading Panel was chaired by Donald Langenberg, a physicist from the University of Maryland and former Deputy Director of the National Science Foundation during the Carter Administration. The panel’s report “Teaching Children to Read” came out in April 2000, summarizing research in eight areas of literacy education: phonetic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, text comprehension, independent reading, computer assisted instruction and teacher professional development. President Bush used the report to shape his Reading First initiative, part of the larger No Child Left Behind program.