How well do students in the U.S. read? An important question, but be warned, you may find the answer to be downright alarming. According to recent literacy assessments, only about a third of all middle school students in the U.S. can read comprehensively. That is to say, only one in three can actually make sense of what they read!
In spring of 2014 the National Assessment of Educational Progress, which tests tens of thousands of America’s schoolchildren, announced their results for 2013.
• 60% of graduating seniors could not read for comprehension.
• About 75% of them could not successfully do higher math. (And this is among those who stayed in school and did not drop out.)
As a grandparent with children in the public school system, I can let facts and statistics like these worry me (a lot,) or I can take a more proactive approach. While our government fights its way through a quagmire of self-imposed red tape, let us grandparents ensure that our children do not suffer from a lack of early literacy development. We can all benefit from the brilliance of Maria Montessori, and in essence, teach our children to teach themselves when their brains are ready and willing.
Our government is turning to early education as the solution. Robert Ehrlich, former Governor of Maryland, said the following:
“Experts tell us that 90% of all brain development occurs by the age of five. If we don’t begin thinking about education in the early years, our children are at risk of falling behind by the time they start Kindergarten.”
Does early education really make a difference? Absolutely!
It is well known that 90% of brain development occurs before the age of five. Therefore, during this crucial sensitive period, you have the opportunity to help a child’s brain build key connections for future success. Learn more.
Consider this research from Richie and Bates:
- Participants’ reading and math ability at age 7 were linked to their social class a full 35 years later. Participants who had higher reading and math skills as children ended up having higher incomes, better housing, and better jobs in adulthood.
- The data suggest, for example, that going up one reading level at age 7 was associated with a … roughly $7,750, increase in income at age 42.
- These findings imply that basic childhood skills…will be important throughout your life.