Georgia Mariani

Third-grade Reading Proficiency is Key to Reversing the "Skills Gap"

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SethBreedlove
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Re: Three cheers for elevating third-grade reading levels
SethBreedlove   2/19/2017 8:06:57 PM
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@ Lyndon_Henry - Advance reading and comprehension are vital to critical thinking skills.  It irectly affect the way voters consume and decipher information and how they chose their candidates.

SethBreedlove
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Re: Three cheers for elevating third-grade reading levels
SethBreedlove   2/19/2017 8:01:55 PM
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@ James, I'm not a parent but I envision that if I were I would not allow video games in the house or things that distract kids from doing homework.  I think there are so many things today that are pulling children away from the things they they should be focusing on.

 

Joe Stanganelli
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Re: Three cheers for elevating third-grade reading levels
Joe Stanganelli   2/18/2017 2:23:12 PM
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@Terry: On the one hand, I completely agree from a general education standpoint -- and, moreover, the real issue is better and more effective investment in younger grades.

On the other hand, reading comprehension and ability to write is increasingly a vital skill in most jobs -- as well as in life.

At the same time, however, you're still 100% right.  People whose learning styles differ can be targeted with their learning style to bridge that gap and make those skills more accesisble.

T Sweeney
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Re: Three cheers for elevating third-grade reading levels
T Sweeney   2/18/2017 2:08:59 PM
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Yes, by all means, let's do everything we can to encourage reading. But what about people whose learning style is rooted in a visual language that's not word-based? Or is tactile/experiential? If you force kids through a system they don't fit into, don't be surprised when their tests scores and achievement are crap.

Joe Stanganelli
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Re: Not the first time
Joe Stanganelli   2/17/2017 7:02:58 PM
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@tomsg: Precisely.  And then college professors/instructors wonder why their students lack basic reading and writing skills!  They blame it on the high schools -- quite unfairly, IMHO.  Those types of problems start years earlier and take years to be fully realized into that sort of masterful failure.

Joe Stanganelli
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Re: Three cheers for elevating third-grade reading levels
Joe Stanganelli   2/17/2017 6:59:00 PM
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@James: While I am just as dubious and annoyed, to say the least, about what the future holds based on what we're seeing societally where electronics are concerned (I recently read about Elon Musk noting that humans are virtual cyborgs already because of our ever-present reliance on our smartphones), I'm not convinced that there's *that* strong a link here -- at least, when it comes to pure recreational/non-curricular use of screens.

For my own part, I grew up in an age when scaremongers spread panic over kids watching too much television.  I was one of those kids who watched A LOT of TV.  A LOT.

But I still read, I still did well in school, and TV piqued my imagination and -- I daresay -- made me smarter and more educated.  TV also taught me a lot about storytelling (which is an essential skill for the data analyst).

TV is, like books, just another medium.  Ditto for web content.

What made me hate reading?  Teachers.  Teachers assigning too much reading (most of it terrible).  (I had a few good teachers, and occasionally we got good reading assignments, but for the most part it was just a maelstrom of garbage).

Incidentally, to bring this back full circle, there are studies and data that demonstrate that MANDATED screen time in young children (e.g., when the elementary school gives kids iPads and makes them do assignments on them) is linked to a substantial decrease in learning and comprehension.

Lyndon_Henry
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Re: Three cheers for elevating third-grade reading levels
Lyndon_Henry   2/16/2017 10:17:59 PM
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..

In her blog post, Georgia writes

• Of the 11.6 million jobs added over the last six years, 99% went to workers who had some education or training beyond high school.
• The remaining 1% -- only 80,000 jobs nationally -- were for those with a high school diploma or less.



 

Data – actual facts (as opposed to "alternative facts") – are amazing tools, because they represent real-world, reality-based evidence to refute lousy policy assertions and decisions.

I recall that, just a few years back, in response to the palpable deterioration of America's education system and the difficulties of recent college grads to find jobs, the American public were being told that ... oh well, don't worry, college education really isn't that necessary, anyway. For most people, just a highschool diploma was probably all they'd need in the job market (so the line went).

Facts are such an excellent antidote to baloney ...

..

SaneIT
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Re: Three cheers for elevating third-grade reading levels
SaneIT   2/16/2017 9:10:11 AM
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@James, sadly I think you're right.  As an adult I run into a lot of people who have difficulty reading at a low level.  If they fall behind it doesn't seem that many tend to catch up and it shows.  People don't sit down to write letters, they jot quick notes via social media and brush off the holes in their reading and writing skills as no big deal.  I'm a member of several local social media groups and trying to read some of the posts there leaves my head spinning.  I think we've become passive consumers and that means moving images because reading is hard and requires a higher level of attention.  People can half watch a movie and get an idea of what is going on but you can't open a book, leave it on the table while you're doing something else and have any idea what is going on in the book. 

On to solving the problem though since I see really young kids with tablets and phones now as primary toys.  How do you encourage a kid to read when they have a device that will do it for them?  Philanthropy seems to push technology when they get into the education fields so is it possible they are making the problem worse by handing kids laptops and tablets at elementary ages?

 

kq4ym
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Re: Not the first time
kq4ym   2/15/2017 10:36:14 AM
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Even a a schoolboy I noiticed that the kids that didn't quite keep up in elememtary school fell way behind as their school career moved along. Although reading is certainly an important subject area, I wonder if there may be some equally important skill that should be taught in the early grades. And is there good evidence about pre-schools and how effective they are?

James Connolly
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Re: Three cheers for elevating third-grade reading levels
James Connolly   2/14/2017 8:15:49 AM
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@Joe. I would love to see philanthropists supporting elementary ed, but I think the problem with reading goes much deeper. As a society we don't nurture a love of reading any more. Good teachers (and I admit my bias, being the father of a good teacher) can do their part to make reading exciting. I can't imagine how much of her own money my daughter has spent on grade specific books, and the time she has devoted to making books interesting through activities like theme days.

Yet, at 3 pm the kids go home to electronic baby sitters, television and video games. Every round of invention in the tech industry is one more step in reducing the need to read. No need to crack a book when Alexa is within the sound of your voice. Have a question, forget the owner's manual look for a Youtube video. Heck, kids don't even learn the fundamentals of conversation because if they go out for dinner mom and dad make sure they have their little game machines (and mom and dad are ignoring each other as well, tapping and swipingn on their phones). 

Why should kids read -- or learn anything -- when the adults set the example of living through headlines and sound bites? Everything you need to know about anything, served up in no more than 140 characters, including emojis. Want to read a book, just do Audible.

I won't single out today's society as being 100 percent to blame. When I was growing up the educational system couldn't wait to get us into reading the "classics". In junior high we spent what I think was an entire term studying Beowulf. Goodness, that's enough to make anyone refuse to open a book again. Then there was Shakespeare, yes many classics but translating him into the English kids understand won't make anyone love to read. America lit? We had Faulkner, who defied every rule of grammar and punctuation that we had been taught.

Personally, I don't care if kids read menus, magazines, or manuscripts. I just wish they would read.

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