Why helping ALL kids BEFORE School is the right thing to do

If we really want to help ALL kids reach their potential in the next 15 years – where do we have to focus? I am going to show you now why it may not be school.

The battle for reading is all but lost the day a child enters school. Now that’s a statement! Let me explain by looking more deeply into this slide.

What you see are 2 lines – one red: the kids who were ready – one blue: the kids who were not ready. See how small the difference is when they arrive in school. But by 9 years old, grade 3, the gap is very wide.

By 13 the blue kids can never catch up!

Many in the school system know this. This is why calls for more TA’s are loud. This is why many want more resources put into the early grades at school.

Is this increased investment in school working?

No it is not! This slide shows the impact of all this increase in investment in school. The grey upright bars in this slide of the US public school system show  the expenditure in literacy – look at how the investment has poured in – it’s billions of dollars. The blue horizontal line are literacy rates. In spite of all this investment in the schools. In spite of its focus on literacy, it has had no real effect.

If we are on PEI to give all our kids a really great start in life – improving our schools will help – but the place where where we can make the difference and make it in time is before our children arrive in school.

Tomorrow I will show you the research that will support this claim.


3 Responses to Why helping ALL kids BEFORE School is the right thing to do

  1. […] follow this link to Chapter 2 that will make the case that simply focusing on making our schools better will not work […]

  2. Jim Funk says:

    Dear Sir or Madam:

    First, of all, let me congratulate you on the work you are doing. Focusing resouces on pre-school education is clearly the most promising approach for children from low-literacy, low-income households.

    I am writing to ask if you can provide me the original source for the chart, “The Effects of Weaknesses in Oral Languiage on Reading.” that was shown in your March 26, 2008 posting. If you have an orignal copy of the image as well as I would appreciate it if you would send it.

    You have provided this information to me before but the Library’s system scrubbed it from my saved emails.

    Thank you

    Jim funk

  3. robpatrob says:

    I have emailed you my old email

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