Thursday, February 12, 2009

Did you know?

I was in a meeting yesterday that is held quarterly for all of our management. Each of our executives is given the chance to get up and give us an update/overview of what is going on with their team.

One of our executives serves as the superintendent of our charter schools and head start programs... and she gave us a pop quiz on some things within our program, and the education system in general.

Some notable things that I never even though of before:

Did you know that future dropout rates are determined by a child's attendance in Kindergarten? Apparently if the parents/children aren't committed to getting their child to school during that part of their life - they have a much higher propensity to drop out of school later in their educational career. Amazing! I would have never guessed that...

Did you know that when planning for the building of prisons - they look at the retention rates of the third grade? They can tell how many prisoners they will have in the future by looking at the number of children held back in the third grade. If they are held back in that year alone - they have a higher percent chance that they'll end up in prison at some point in the future.

Did you know that the most critical factor in a child's success in school is their teacher? Studies show that if I child has an ineffective teacher for three years in a row - they have almost no chance of catching up to grade level as they move forward in their schooling. Amazing... just goes to show why I'm so passionate about education...

This last one surprises me a little bit - as I would have said that the most influential factor would be parent involvement, and while it is important - it isn't the most critical. The child needs a good teacher to engage them everyday - the follow up at home is equally important in my opinion, but the studies didn't report that.

I know from my childhood - I was highly effected by my parents' strengths and weaknesses when it came to education. I lived primarily with my Mom from 2nd grade on, and as a result - I inherited her views toward math... she didn't like it and struggled with it - therefore I did as well. Unfortunately - I didn't pick up her skills with art, but that's alright with me...

Luckily our children will have the best combination (or so I think) because John truly is a human calculator... and amazes me daily with his math skills. I on the other hand am a reader and a writer... not to say that John isn't good at those, but he doesn't enjoy them like I do. So our kids will have a dynamic combination - and it'll be interesting to see what they gravitate toward.

I found those tidbits of information interesting, and wanted to share...