An All Too Infrequent True Story

I have been working with children who are at-risk for 50 years. I’d like to tell you a story of one of those kids and how it changed both of our lives. It was a dark and stormy night – no, that’s not it. Let me start again. Once upon a time in a land…

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Why a U.S. Government Agency Covers Up Proven Educational Methods While Millions of Children Become Illiterate

It is naïve to pretend that science is free of bias and of political involvement.  If it were, there would be no need for lobbyists in Washington from groups like the chemical and defense companies. “Science” may be conducted more for their benefit, than for its indisputable proofs. When influenced by “big tobacco”, some studies…

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September Curriculum Review – Why do schools spend weeks reviewing last year’s work?

  The Existing Condition Each year as kids head back to school, they can most likely expect to spend a few weeks catching up on the basics that they were taught the preceding year. Parents and teachers suggest that review is needed due to forgetting over the long summer break with minimal or no practice.I…

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Accountability in Public Education – What is it really?

Many parents have children who pass through their public school systems, graduate, go on to post–secondary education and never miss a beat. My two children did with the exception of the few minor disruptions you expect from zesty teenagers. For these students the system works well. It works for a majority of students, some high…

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Why Your School Doesn’t Care That Johnny Did Not Learn to Read This Year

Part 2- Don’t Blame His Teacher!!! As I mentioned in Part 1, 35% of the children leaving first grade this year still cannot read. These children have generally spent three years in school already in Junior Kindergarten, Senior Kindergarten and First Grade…. and they still have not been taught to read. Now Hear This –…

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Why Doesn’t Your School Care That Johnny Didn’t Learn to Read?

Why doesn’t your school care that Johnny didn’t learn to read? Fact:  This year 35% of the children leaving first grade did not learn to read. Fact:    85% of these children will never learn to read and will become illiterate. Fact:    A high school student drops out of school every 26 seconds. Fact:  …

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Helping Our Schools Increase Literacy Skills: Part 8

  Helping Our Schools by Increasing Literacy – Triggering an Epidemic – Part 8        In most organizations, a minority of members does the majority of the work. It is sometimes referred to as the 80/20 Rule in which 80% of the work is completed by 20% of the membership. This is another…

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Helping Our Schools Increase Literary Skills: Part 7

Helping Our Schools by Increasing Literacy – Triggering an Epidemic Mary had a plan She got the principal’s and the parent’s permission to do the reading screening from the website with the school’s students. She got her book club to give up a session and to spend a day listening  to the children do the…

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Why Our Schools Are Failing- Part 6

  Helping Our Schools by Increasing Literacy – Part 6 Let’s Start a Word-of-Mouth Literacy Epidemic – A Hypothetical Example. Mary is a connector. She has many friends and acquaintances, is a member   of several community groups, is called upon often to head up or serves on       committees, including the Parent/Teachers…

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Why Our Schools Are Failing: Part 5

              Helping Our Schools Create Literacy Skills–Part 5  Let’s Start a Word-of-Mouth Literacy Epidemic Introduction It is incredibly important that we understand, as Gladwell points out, that epidemics develop in geometric progression, not linear progression.  With each successive step, they double in size. The HIV/Aids epidemic started with one…

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