Report: Early Success: Closing the Achievement Gap for Our Youngest Learners



LEADERSHIP, systemic change, EQUITY, outcomes


DISTRICT:culture of renewal and improvement, DISTRICT:inquiry on equity in schooling


Jerry D. Weast


2005, 10/5/2009


Montgomery County Public Schools


The district faced an indisputable fact: increasing numbers of young children impacted by poverty and language difference were starting school lagging behind their peers in basic
literacy and mathematics skills, and they often remained behind. If children were not meeting certain benchmarks by the end of first grade, there was little likelihood that they would
be able to read fl uently by third grade, an important indicator of academic success in the later years.5 So, the work began in the early grades with the development of a plan designed to reverse a pattern of underachievement that followed many children through their K–12 experience. One of the initial hurdles to overcome was the early childhood research and pedagogy stating that it was not developmentally appropriate to teach reading in kindergarten, particularly to disadvantaged youngsters.


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