I guess I have been asleep for the last few years. This is my first attempt at blogging and I hope to delve into the education of 3-5 year old children. Hopefully, this blog will grow and develop as will Ask Dr. Phil the Educator.
We are currently faced with severe budget shortages in most states. This is beginning to gravely affect many of the states that once supported early childhood education. Why most legislatures want to cut early childhood education is beyond me. This more than likely goes back to the adage that you cut or do not support that which you do not understand. Most legislatures are not educators and do not realize the importance of early childhood education.
When I was interviewing for my field study for my dissertation, I was amazed at how many parents I interviewed, always referred to their educational experiences and how they were raised. Most did not understand the pressing urgency or need to educate 3-5 year old children, nor did they understand just important closing the reading gaps that exist in our schools.
When a child enters the 7th grade and this child is reading at a 3rd grade level, there is no hope for success. But first, we must ask ourselves, how did this young adult fail to understand the instruction given them in reading? Was this due to the lack of dedication of the teachers or was there an inherent “gap” in the understanding of the reading techniques taught in the school systems?
How can we expect a child or a young adult to succeed when they cannot read? Nothing in this country or world can be achieved with a lack of reading skills. Children who do not have sufficient reading skills will eventually drop out of school, stating that the content of the classes was just too difficult and they did not understand. Are these same children speaking of not understanding the written material, or is the course work just too difficult? What do these children or young adults mean?
We must also ask ourselves how we have failed our children. What have we lacked in our delivery of reading materials that these children could not grasp the skills necessary to develop into proficient readers? Did the teachers fail the students or did the system fail both the teachers and the students?
We must stop playing the “blame game” and concentrate on what is good for all children, not just a select few. In New Mexico, and specifically in Roswell, this District has been targeted by the film “Waiting for Superman” as a dropout factory. In other words, what was stated in the film is, more students drop out of school than successfully complete their education. This trend cannot continue and we must pull together as a community and country and seriously address these problems.
We cannot hope to compete in the global markets with such huge reading deficits or gaps. We owe it to our children and the future of this country to examine and move towards either the dis-establishment of public schools or a major overhaul of all failing public schools and school systems across the United States. In business, if a store fails to consecutively meet its bottom line or increase its profit margin it is closed. Now is the time to begin to enact the same type of measurements towards our failing schools and school systems.