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Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Between 21 and 23 percent of Americans (40 million) are functioning at Level 1 literacy rating, defined simply as "not having adequate reading skills for daily life." The rate for California is 24 %. These are people who cannot read, must struggle to read, or cannot cope with unfamiliar or complex information.

Richard Riley Former Secretary of Education says "54 percent of all teachers have limited English proficient (LEP) students in their classrooms, yet only one-fifth of teachers feel very prepared to serve them.”

 2006 More than 8 million U.S. students in grades 4-12 struggle to read, write, and comprehend adequately.

 2004 Three out of ten eighth graders read at or above grade level, National Assessment of Educational Progress.

 2003, only three-fourths of high school students graduated in four years, the National Center for Education Statistics reports;

 2002 just over half of African American and Hispanic students graduated at all. Source

 The cost of failing to teach enriches the wealthy and impoverishes the poor.


Business contracts with the prison system underpay inmates for jobs like answering the company phone. It is very very cheap labor. For the first time ever, in five states, more is spent on prisons than on colleges, according to a new report from the Pew Project on the States. Last year alone, states spent more than $49 billion on corrections, up from $11 billion spent 20 years earlier. However, the recidivism rate remains virtually unchanged, with about half of released inmates returning to jail or prison within three years. A close examination of the most recent U.S. Department of Justice data found that while one in 30 men between the ages of 20 and 34 is incarcerated, the figure is one in nine for black males. For black women in their mid- to late-30s, the incarceration rate has hit the one-in-100 mark. Pew also found that in the last 20 years, inflation-adjusted general fund spending on corrections rose 127 percent while higher education expenditures rose just 21 percent. Most Unusual Prisons.

Improving Education for Every Child

by Nina Shokraii Rees [ link no longer works]

"The need for action is desperate. Today, a stunning 40 percent of America's 4th graders continue to read below the basic level on national reading assessments. On international tests, America's 12th graders rank last in advanced physics compared with students in 18 other countries. And one-third of all incoming college freshmen enroll in a remedial reading, writing, or mathematics class. These numbers are even bleaker in the inner cities and poor rural areas, where 68 percent of low-income 4th graders cannot read at a basic level. In fact, despite $120 billion in federal spending since 1965 to raise the achievement of poor children, a wide educational attainment gap remains between rich and poor students.

The deepest down turn in the educational process occurs in the fourth grade. There the student must learn to read by the time they are 8 or 9 years old. It seems that without this being accomplished, the child will never grasp reading for content in the ways required later. However, there is a way to recapture students and this is what this program wants to achieve.


Parents and educators only have a relatively few days - a fraction of the child's whole life to get them set up for success. A school year is approximately 30 weeks and that equals around 150 days in a year, minus about 10 days for holidays or sickness and all that is left is 140. Kindergarten through the end of third grade is 4 years x 140 days = 560 days total. Your average life span is around 70 years = 25,550 days.

All we have is .02% of a child's lifetime to give reading skills that will have an impact for the remaining 98% of his or her life.

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