The Family: America's Smallest School
The Educational Testing Service released a powerful report this week (November 1, 2007), "The Family: America's Smallest School". A one-page summary, PowerPoint presentation and the full report are available at http://www.ets.org/. This research strongly supports efforts to reach out to parents with resources and encouragement to read with their children.
The study examined family indicators including early language and literacy development, reading to children, home learning environment and family resources. Key findings include:
Raising achievement and closing gaps require that policy be focused on the starting line, as well as the finish line. How much children advance in school depends considerably on where they start.
A disproportionate number of Americans homes are under-resourced and ill-equipped as first schools. 25% of U.S. parents reported not having books available in the home. Helping all children achieve requires that educational deficiencies in the home be addressed.
Reading to young children is related to their literacy development and subsequent success in school.