Sunday, June 15, 2008

After the fact treatment

Patterson, et al in Influencer The Power to Change Anything begin their book by describing the typical response to a difficult problem. They describe it as "after-the-fact" treatment. Like the scourge of AIDS where treatment of the disease's effects gets much wider attention than treatment of its causes, we often attack problems by trying to clean up something after the damage is done.

In education, I see this as the attempt to shrink the learning gaps in middle school and high school. We must start in kindergarten, when we still have a chance to stem the tide. Indeed, the more effective we are at getting parents and preschools to do a few simple behaviors (most notably - Read to their children 20 minutes a day) will allow us to eradicate the number of students reading below grade level to zero!

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