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Education Should Start Early for Children and Parents

Education Should Start Early for Children and Parents
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I’ve always wondered why the United States’ educational system waits so long to intervene on behalf of students who have fallen behind in school. Across the nation, much of the real remedial work begins in eighth grade.

Related commentary: Children’s Path to Academic, Economic Success Begins Before Birth

Shouldn’t we be starting earlier to keep students from falling behind in the first place? Remedial education is expensive and doesn’t save every child. It’s tough work to catch up a child who has been lagging for seven years or more.

Most struggling eighth graders who receive remedial intervention come from economically challenged families. Fewer than 10 percent of them graduate college. Many of their parents are dropouts themselves. Like most parents, they want a better life for their children but don’t know how to guide them. They crave guidance. Providing the proper guidance means connecting them with parents with the right messages and enough repetition to make the teaching stick.

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