"The New York City Department of Education placed literacy coaches in struggling elementary schools to lift test scores. A new study concluded that the literacy coaches made no difference. The disappointing results didn’t surprise Susan Neuman, a NYU professor of literacy education. She said the department deployed coaches of varying quality, gave them insufficient training and, in some schools, principals shifted them to drilling for state exams. Skeptics of the initiative have long argued it would be better to reduce class size, add services for the disabled and require a stronger focus on phonics, which teaches children to sound out letters as a primary way to identify words. Leonie Haimson predicted the failure of this initiative last April, as it builds on a similar failed program started by Joel Klein."