Well, neither. The mystery was solved this morning, by a persistent blogger named Peter Smith at his ledgeofliberty. (Yesterday he had nothing.) “The Pet Goat,” turns out, is actually a story contained in a Scientific Research Associates textbook called Reading Mastery 2, storybook #1 by Siegfried Engelmann & Elaine C. Bruner.
Reading Mastery is a technique of “Direct Instruction” – a teaching technique developed by Siegfried Engelmann in the 1960’s which makes the claim, “Kids taught in a fully implemented Direct Instruction program read by the end of kindergarten. . . That’s all kids, even disadvantaged kids, ghetto kids, and special-ed kids.” As it turns out, Siegfried Engelmann is also the co-author of the “The Pet Goat,” a story found on page 153 of SRA’s “Reading Mastery 2” storybook #1.
Reading Mastery‘s reading technique is a speedy one, which is why, in this video of Bush in the classroom, the kids are reading from the book with the teacher beating out a rhythm. And this longer video is produced by the Booker school and shows Bush finally responding to the WTC attack.
So, from nothing at all yesterday to more than we really need to know about the goat today. Ledge of Liberty is the go-to site for comprehensive info on the book, and eBay the place to buy it should you want to own something that might become a cinematic curiosity. Or learntoreadreallyfast.