News piece – The Promise of K-1

I heard a wise school leader speak this morning explaining why they thought that Asian students outperform White, Hispanic, and African America students in academics. His answer “The Asian community is organized and recognizes that the system (here or in China) can't do it alone”. They recognize and invest in providing “Tier 2” interventions- tutoring after school/in the weekend/ in their language/etc. It is part of their culture!

He also said that Hispanic/Latino families and African American families rely solely on the “education system”. A simple expectation except the “education system” was designed for middle class white families who mothers stay at home and are ABLE to provide “tier 2” interventions at home for their children such as “reading and supporting homework”. It made so much sense. I get home at 5:30 and I am not the typical middle class WHITE mother (I am Hispanic), except I know that I should be proving “Tier 2” interventions for my own children because of my career (former professor of education and current school reform consultant). In fact, my son gets a repeated reading strategy to help him become not only a great reader but an excellent reader. One of the same strategies I taught teachers to do in a school implementing a Response to Intervention model with great success on student achievement.

It made sense that as a nation we are in need of effective Response to Intervention models that provide “tier 2 and Tier 3” interventions and services to all students in SCHOOL– only then can we provide equality of education and true opportunity for all children in our public school system.
How can we do this?
View one step Boston is taking –an excerpt from the Today show on the benefits of early education:

Program gives new meaning to ‘prep’ school
Sept. 27: TODAY’s Matt Lauer visits a school in Boston that is making strides in closing the achievement gap among young students by preparing children for the routines and rituals of being a student before they even enter kindergarten