Friday, May 05, 2006

OMG, Brett has figured it out.

I nailed this from the Education Wonks (check out my blog links).

It's called The DeHavilland Blog, and the message of the post is a letter that should be read by any political figure to parents. However, Brett (the owner of the blog) correctly states that talking to parents is one of the "third rails" of politics.

My fellow parents,

The ability to read is the single most important indicator of success in life. If your child does not learn to read and read well, his opportunities in life are so limited that you may as well buy him a mop and a bucket right now: he won’t get much further than minimum-wage manual labor for the rest of his life.

Despite what you hear from the talking heads in the news, our schools are perfectly capable of teaching a child to read. But we have to have children who are ready to learn, who have a supportive environment at home that reinforces what they’re doing at school.

From almost the time that they’re born, it is your responsibility – and only your responsibility - to prepare them to successfully learn how to read. Fortunately this is simple to do.

Read to them every day, preferably a few times a day. Let them see you reading. Make sure they have access to a wide variety of reading materials in the home.

That’s all it takes: do that, and they’ll be ready to learn how to read when they get to school. We’ll take it from there, although of course we’ll still expect you to do your part at home by continuing to read, continuing to emphasize the importance of reading, and holding yourselves and your child accountable when we send home work that reinforces what we’re doing in school.

And if you don’t? Shame on you. You’re failing your children, relegating them to a life filled with the frustration and despair that come with living on the fringes of society. They will always look longingly at the lives that others are able to build for themselves and knowing that success is permanently out of their grasp. It won’t be the fault of the schools, nor will it be the fault of “society.” It will be your fault, and yours alone.

So please: read to your children. Let them see you read. Give them access to books and other reading materials. And help them lay the groundwork for a life that can take them anywhere they decide they want to go.

Good night, and good reading.
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