We have an equity problem in California that impacts 65% of students.
Equity x Literacy
Children with higher rates of trauma have more difficulty learning. Children from low socio-economic families are more likely to face chronic trauma than children from high socio-economic families.
The more limited a child's experiences with language and literacy the more likely he or she will have difficulty learning to read. Too often, working parents who struggle to earn a living wage cannot spend the time to learn about what their child needs at a pre-school age to be successful.
Teacher knowledge, respect and support for the diversity of children's families, cultures, and linguistic backgrounds are important in early literacy development. A child who feels respected by a teacher is more confident and more likely to learn.
Children in the school districts with the highest concentrations of poverty score an average of more than four grade levels below children in the richest districts.
Assessment x Instruction (ages 4-8)
Early identification is key to early success. Currently, students are not assessed for risk factors until they fail which is already too late, often after 3rd grade, when instruction changes from learning to read to reading to learn. Neuroscience and reading science provide insight into how children. Current methods of instruction are not working effectively for the majority of our children.
Early Childhood Instruction (ages 0-4)
A child's ability to read and write proficiently by end of third grade is influenced by conditions and circumstances present from age 0. Children need to enter school with basic reading, math, social and emotional skills. From birth to age 5, when a child’s brain develops rapidly, is the time to build the foundation of cognitive abilities and character to prepare them to achieve 3rd grade reading and writing standards and develop a sense of mastery. According to a longitudinal study First Five, 4 out of 5 children not ready for kindergarten are still not proficient in 3rd grade. Improving literacy outcomes requires additional resources, teacher training, and parent education along with other supports to ensure an equitable solution for all.