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More about the International Education Institute

The International Education Institute (IEI) is dedicated to helping overcome the Achievement Gap. For example, we are creating a FREE EARLY READING CURRICULUM to help parents and child-care providers teach children to read early and well.

"There are thousands hacking at the branches … to one who is striking at the roots," noted Thoreau, and that is exactly why educational reform has essentially failed for the past 20 years.

Here is the root of the problem: According to statistics, students who start behind generally stay behind. They come into kindergarten already behind in pre-literacy skills, are still behind in reading at third grade, and then after third grade – when reading itself becomes the foundational skill involved in 85% of all other learning – they fall behind in all subjects: math, science, health, and social studies, as well as in English.

As they fall further behind and begin to feel "stupid" and inferior, these students seek new sources of positive feedback. They are most likely to drop out, most likely to get involved with drugs and gangs, most likely to be jailed, most likely to appear on the welfare rolls, and most likely to struggle through life in minimum-wage jobs. They are least likely to go to college.

Research shows that these students who lag behind in reading during their public school years typically had less pre-literacy experience before kindergarten.  While many of their classmates arrived at kindergarten with 1,000-2,000 hours of pre-literacy experience, these students only have 100-200 hours of pre-literacy experience -- or less. They start kindergarten recognizing only a few alphabet letters, knowing only a few of their sounds, having little phonemic awareness, and showing little motivation to learn. They are essentially 2-3 years behind before they set foot in school. Hacking away at the branches of poor science and math scores in high school is futile until we fully attack the root of the problem. Children who don’t read early and well fail at nearly everything else they attempt to do.

Some truths are so obvious they elude recognition for decades. Since knowing how to read is so pivotal after third grade, no child should have to venture beyond that level without mastering that fundamental skill. The effort to teach children to read should begin at birth, and every available resource should be focused on achieving this goal. Right now in the average school, only about 55% read at grade level. If we fail to achieve this goal, the cost in later scholastic intervention, in social welfare costs, in crime and incarceration, and in lost economic production is a thousand times greater. And that ignores the loss of self-esteem, the loss of happiness, and the loss of personal potential in the individual lives of literally millions of children.

IEI invites parents and educators to use our FREE CURRICULUM to help young children learn to read younger and better. We are also involved in an Early Reading Pilot Project, featuring the Frontline .

EARLY READING PILOT PROJECT Free Curriculum Free Curriculum
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