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.