Early literacy gets new focus, funds

  • Article by: KELLY SMITH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 12, 2012 - 5:33 AM

Minnesota strives to reinforce reading by third grade to help close the achievement gap.

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educator1Feb. 12, 12 4:01 AM

A very important topic. Glad to see the Star Tribune giving it attention, and glad to see both legislature and corporate funders making it a priority.

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pediculousFeb. 12, 12 8:39 AM

Enough of this insanity. If parents refuse to take an active part in their childs development there is nothing that more money will do to help.

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JvonkorffFeb. 12, 12 9:33 AM

Pediculous: your claim that "if parents refuse to take an active part...there is nothing that more money will do to help" is just factually false. Yes, it would be wonderful if all parents would do their part. But some cannot, or will not, or simply don't know how. A litany of indisputable evidence shows that, in fact, when money is used properly, effectively, and when teachers, administrators and others put the education of children above all else, that literacy rates of all children rise dramatically.

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swiperFeb. 12, 12 9:36 AM

Pediculous, There is excellent evidence that modest investments in the early years garners a significant return on that investment- with one of the many winners being taxpayers. There are many reasons why parents may not be able to play the role you describe, and there are reasons why some children might have more challenges than than parents can address on there own. But what ever the reason, I'm sure you wouldn't be so heartless as to suggest that all children don't deserve the same good start, regardless of their circumstances.

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SnippetFeb. 12, 1211:01 AM

>> Teaching literacy is no longer as simple as handing a child a book, U of M literacy education Prof. Deborah Dillon added. I'm sure the 2 people on the planet who believe that teaching literacy is no longer as simple as handing a child a book will benefit from this insight. We'll have to find them first, though. I think one of them is a 90-year old Japanese guy who doesn't know WWII is over. Not sure who the other one is.... >> Teachers must go beyond words and definitions to teach students complex ideas such as how an author designs a text Yeah, that'll get black 4 years reading at the same level as Asian 4 year olds in no time flat. I really have been concerned for a long time now about the fact that black pre-schoolers are not being versed in the complex issue of "how an author designs a text." Fortunately, that is now changing, and we will soon be spared this interminable stream of "closing the gap" stories. Thank God for education professors. Next challenge: Preventing Asians from doing so well on math tests. That's just not fair.

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jjsbrwFeb. 12, 1211:50 AM

The child who is read to in a meaningful, deliberate way for 20 minutes per day from age 1 to age 5 recieves almost 500 hours of literacy training at precisely the time when they are wired to acquire language the fastest. How much remediation does it take to make up for NOT developing literacy building blocks early? A lot.

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tatersFeb. 12, 12 2:35 PM

I have children in the regular preschool at Pond Center. The Kinderprep program has a group of excellent teachers and aides who's connection to these kids is simply wonderful to watch. Every school should be able to focus on early education. The money saved in the long run on remedial programs for these students or the societal cost of them dropping out far outweigh the funding put out now.

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redstateFeb. 12, 12 4:07 PM

"Minnesota strives to reinforce reading by third grade to help close the achievement gap." What in the world are the teachers doing and why do we need any addition funding? That's what I learned in 1st grade, how to read. Since when did we say it was alright to wait till the third grade and then panic over the acheivment gap? Some one give me an answer to that question and not a lot of other gargage.

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hlakerFeb. 12, 12 7:22 PM

All we need is more money spent on teachers and administrators to solve this little problem.

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jjsbrwFeb. 12, 12 8:30 PM

redstateFeb. 12, 12 4:07 PM "Minnesota strives to reinforce reading by third grade to help close the achievement gap." What in the world are the teachers doing and why do we need any addition funding? That's what I learned in 1st grade, how to read. Since when did we say it was alright to wait till the third grade and then panic over the acheivment gap? Some one give me an answer to that question and not a lot of other gargage. ----------------------------- I don't think anyone said it was okay to wait. What is said is that children who do not have proficient reading skills by third grade are much more likely to never catch up, not just in reading, but in all academic areas. That's what early literacy programs are trying to address.

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