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Starting school at age seven—some claim—would be better: Part 5 of 5

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America is a complex multicultural, multiracial country with the world’s third largest population behind China and India. Finland doesn’t compare.

 If you are still not convinced, then let’s look at literacy levels by race in the United States There are four literacy levels: below basic, basic, intermediate and proficient. We are going to compare Intermediate and proficient—the two highest literacy levels—by race.

Sixty-eight percent of whites read at the two higher literacy levels; 54% of Asians; 33% Blacks, and 27% Hispanics. Source: National Center for Education Statistics at nces.ed.gov

The National Association for the Education of Young Children [naeyc.org] says, “Children take their first critical steps toward learning to read and write very early in life. … But the ability to read and write does not develop naturally, without careful planning and instruction. Children need regular and active interactions with print. …

“The single most important activity for building these under- standings and skills essential for reading success appears to be reading aloud to children (Wells 1985; Bus, Van Ijzendoorn, & Pellegrini 1995). High-quality book reading occurs when children feel emotionally secure (Bus & Van Ijzendoorn 1995; Bus et al. 1997) and are active participants in reading (Whitehurst et al. 1994).”

In addition, naeyc.org says that parents and family members should read daily [in front of and with their children]; read to children and encourage them to read to you; encourage children to use and enjoy print for many purposes; continue to support children’s learning and interest by visiting the library and bookstores with them on a regular basis.

This latest nonsense that children should just have fun and play to age seven before starting school and then start learning to read is a recipe for a disaster of biblical proportions. Learning to love reading [and books] should be a fun activity that starts in the home at an early age as it does in Finland.

However, because the evidence suggests that too many American parents—especially among Blacks and Hispanics—do not make reading/literacy important at home; early education programs that start at a young age and focus on literacy must not be abandoned.

Another way to look at this issue is to study the family values of Black and Hispanic/Latino students who are successful in school and are reading at or above grade level. What is the difference between successful families and those who are not succeeding?

I’m sure we don’t need a study to answer that question.

Return to Starting school at age seven—some claim—would be better: Part 4 or start with Part 1

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_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran.

His latest novel is the award winning Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to kill Americans.

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Yes, Finland is a great example of how to educate children and there is a wide gap between Finland and America’s cultures.

However, in the US, every public school teacher should walk out and demand respect and the truth about the achievements in Education in this country before returning to the classroom.
Joseph Goebbels, one of Hitler’s inner circle in the Nazi Party, once said, “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will come to believe it.”

You see, it all depends on how the facts are presented. The critics of public education have a loud voice and use language that shows the glass half empty instead of about 90% full, which is more accurate. Once all the facts about high-school graduation rates, the perception changes dramatically.
To achieve this, one must start more than a century back and chart the progress

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I’ll start with 1900 when the total number of high school graduates in the US numbered 16,000 of 815,000 seventeen-year olds.
In 1920, 311,000 graduated from high school or 16.8% of the total which was 1,855,000
In 1940, 1,221,000 or 50,8% of 2,403,000 graduated.
In 1960, 1,858,000 or 69.5% of 2,672,00 graduated.
In 1980, 3,043,000 or 71.4% of 4,262,00 graduated.
Source: http://nces.ed.gov/pubs93/93442.pdf
After 1970, high school graduation rates level off and fluctuated but stayed pretty close.
in 2009, 75.5% of high school students that started as freshman graduated.
In addition, In 2009, some 89.8 percent of 18- through 24-year-olds not enrolled in high school had received a high school diploma or alternative credential.
How does this compare with other countries?
In 2008, the U.S. high school graduation rate was lower than the rates of ten countries: The United Kingdom, Switzerland, Norway, South Korea, Japan, Italy, Ireland, Germany, Finland and Denmark.
Source: http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2011/11/03/how-u-s-graduation-rates-compare-with-the-rest-of-the-world/
However, there are 193 countries represented in the UN, putting the United States High School graduation rate in the top 5.69% of all the nations that are members of the UN. That means 94.31% of the Earth’s countries have lower high school graduation rates.
When do we see these types of comparison from the American media or critics of public education in the US? Never

The next question is, “What is the political and economic agenda of these critics and a media that seems controlled by the critics?”

 

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