When I was in elementary school back in the early 1960’s I knew a kid in my third grade that couldn’t read at grade level. He struggled with with everything from History, Science and even Math where reading was required. This kid just drifted off and spend most of the day daydreaming. One day at recess we were sitting on a hill playing with our Matchbox cars. I asked him if his mother or father read to him or helped him with his reading. He said, no! I asked why? He said they both worked late each day and were too tired! I said, what about your older brothers and sisters? He said, they were too busy.
Folks, we’ve seen so much early intervention in k-3 and the test data reveals, intervention helps. However, once students hit middle school many fall between the so-called cracks. I am sorry to say, without a strong reading foundation all other subject matters will be useless to teach.
There are many students who go home and have no one to help reinforce their reading. Blame parents all you want. However, no all parents work 8-4 or 9-5! No all children are raised by parents! Many poor children are raised by a grandparent!
Common Core Standards and the Smart Balance Assessment don’t mean shit if a student can’t read! Odds are at the core of the testing data is STUDENT CAN’T READ! Don’t you honestly think a student will ace a science test if he can’t read! What we need is, the federal government out of our schools and folks the likes of Jack Markell and RODEL out of our schools.