If We Had to Fix Education in One Year, What Would You Do?

Posted: September 4, 2013 in Uncategorized
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How Are We Doing, Really?

The study, titled the Nation’s Report Card, is out from the National Center for Educational Statistics with reading, math, and science results for 2011[i]. Since reading is foundational for math and science, let’s stick just with reading. According to NCES, on a scale of 0-500, proficiency is considered to be a score of 238.

Before we go on to another piece of information, please let that sink in. On a scale of 500, somebody considers 238 to be proficient. Now let’s talk about what the Report Card tells us. Only 42% of “white” American fourth graders are reading at or above proficiency. The average is 16% for “black” fourth graders and 18% for Hispanics. That means that no more than one out of three American fourth graders is reading at “proficiency”—which is less than halfway to the top of the scale.

Sadly, there is little difference for eighth graders, with 41% for whites, 14% for blacks and 18% for Hispanic students.

Over Twenty Million Children

This 2011 Report Card comes across as optimistic because the statistics show a positive increase in reading ability over the past decade. Unfortunately, during that decade, over thirty million children have entered first grade and by fourth grade, two out of three of them cannot read proficiently. According to these same statistics, in four more years those same children will still not be proficient. That means from this past decade alone, over twenty million children will not learn how to read well.

If We Had to Fix Education in One Year, What Would You Do?

If you were the boss; if you could make the decisions for how we would teach children to read, what would you do? Well, you know what? If you have a child who is school age, then aren’t you already faced with this question? If you don’t have a school age child, you know plenty of friends and family who do. Is five or ten years okay for somebody to come up with an answer? Not for your child, it isn’t. In five years, there’s a 66% chance your child will fall below that line of proficiency. Doesn’t your child need an answer today, not in five years? What are you going to do? Are you going to leave it up to chance, or will you do what it takes to make sure your child becomes a great reader, and a good student. It really is up to you.


astronaut with PTR

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