Meet the Class of 2025
By Alex on September 12th, 2012
In honor of the children of the Class of 2025, who have just begun their educational journeys this fall, Scholastic has commissioned a five-part series of articles called “Closing the Gap Before it Begins.” Join 10 leaders, scholars, and researchers in education as they confront one of the most critical issues in America: disparity in academic achievement.
This series will challenge business-as-usual, rekindle the focus on early literacy development, and examine how we can elevate reading proficiency. Let’s put all of our students on a measurable path to college and career readiness and close the achievement gap before it begins.
The “Closing the Gap Before it Begins” series will be featured in Education Week, and we will also include an excerpt of the articles, for all our faithful readers, right here on OOM! The full article can be found on iRead.com.
Today we will start the series with Marian Wright Edelman and Governor John Engler, who will focus on the state of America’s first graders and how critical it is for us to act in new ways to help children succeed.
Continue the conversation with us on Twitter at #classof2025.
“The Class of 2025 is ready to change the world. It’s our job to prepare them.”
This fall, over four million five- and six-year-olds are beginning an amazing journey—one that takes them from their homes and has the potential to open up the entire world for them. They are starting kindergarten. Meet the Class of 2025.
It’s a great time to start school. Advances in neuroscience have yielded fresh insight into how the brain develops and the physiological processes that drive learning. New classroom technologies help teachers engage students, personalize instruction, and capture information to better meet individual needs. The Common Core State Standards—adopted by 45 states—set a high bar to ensure that rigorous expectations remain constant from district to district and state to state. These standards renew the national focus on preparing our children for success in a competitive global economy by clearly defining what it means to be college and career ready, starting in kindergarten.
The Readiness Gap
Yet, statistically, 30% of these children won’t graduate in 2025. As expectations of our youngest learners increase, demographic trends paint a picture of decreasing readiness. Nationally, more than 1 in 5 children are poor—with many more at risk of slipping below the poverty line. Poverty is rising, especially for young children. Children under five are the poorest age group in America, with 1 in 4 infants, toddlers, and preschoolers living in poverty during the years of greatest brain development. Poverty and weakened families play out in decreased opportunities for young children to learn and succeed in school.
Our First “Minority Majority” Generation
The class of 2025 will also be more diverse than at any time in our history. In 2011, over 50 percent of all babies born in the United States were non-white. Immigration from around the world, particularly from Spanish-speaking nations and Asia, has resulted in an increase in English Language Learners. One in 20 U.S. school children struggles with English.
These students will require an intensive focus on oral language development, vocabulary, and syntax if they are to have equal access to the American Dream.
Business as Usual Is Not Working
Reading is the gateway to success in every subject, including math and science. Yet our nation’s only consistent yardstick, The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), paints a sobering picture of reading achievement: Continue reading…
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