It didn't work.
Wade through the foreign languages--a mix of Education-speak and Statisticianese--in the first link or try the article in the New York Times. (I know, I know. I'm getting carried away with this liberal rag, but their email headlines are my newest toy.)
From the report's Executive Summary: "On average, across the 18 participating sites, estimated impacts on student reading comprehension test scores were not statistically significant."
Congressional Democrats must agree; they cut funding from a billion to 400 million dollars last year.
A 2006 report (PDF) from John Higgins, DOE's Inspector General, might have influenced them. From the article:
The Reading First director, Chris Doherty, resigned in 2006, days before the release of Mr. Higgins’s report, which disclosed a number of e-mail messages in which Mr. Doherty referred to contractors or educators who favored alternative curriculums seen as competitors to the Reading First approach as “dirtbags” who he said were “trying to crash our party.”I'm just shocked and amazed that President Bush allows such things on his watch, and on his pet program.
Some excerpts from Doherty emails are in the Comments (No The Pet Goat jokes, please)