3rd Grade Reading

3rd Grade Reading

I was listening to talk radio the other day and once again, it reminded me what is wrong with the world. A politician from my great state was explaining(?) why he voted against a bill requiring school districts to “hold back” students who could not pass a third grade reading assessment. I have said for decades education is failing, but the bill appears, on the surface –  who knows what other nefarious provisions lie in its depths, to be a step in the right direction. But, that’s not what I found dumbfounding. It was the Legislator’s “rationale” for voting against it (I tried to find exact quotes, but couldn’t).

            It would create too many third graders and not enough fourth graders.

            The legislature has no business mandating reading requirements.

This is a defense? We are doomed. How about you create this mandate and incorporate into LAW that the schools they must bring these students back for mandatory summer school….on weekends ONLY, accompanied by BOTH parents for mandatory reading training. The costs to run these programs will be deducted from the schools next year’s budget (yeah, I want to charge the parents too – but it is too much administration). That might provide some incentive to the schools and would suggest a whole bunch of parents would start to pay attention when they start missing College Football games simply because their kids are too lazy to learn.  

Education is broken, at all levels. Many parents augment education taught in schools with at home assistance and oversight. Many do not. There is a perception by many parents that it is the schools, or worse the government’s, responsibility to educate their child; they are wrong and should be told. When the child fails, the school, administration or teacher is blamed. In some cases this is true, but in many instances, it is not. Before we blame the usually scapegoats, including the unions, how about we force the parents to participate. Keep responsibility with the parent and student and let the school facilitate. Repercussions, like Saturday school, would be a constant reminder of the importance this country places on education. It may help the parents recognize the good teachers from the bad. It could work with other functions too.

I know the teachers will have a field day with this one, but most folks in this country could help third graders learn to read. If nothing else, volunteers could read to them and help them sound out words, just as family members would do at home. Reading is a skill and facilitates other learning. It is a necessary skill. I think it would be possible to find an army of volunteers to help.

This is my draconian suggestion, but certainly there are others. When your “go to” response for failing to educate is “…it will create too many third graders…”, we need new elected officials. PLEASE!!!

Categorized as Policy

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