Michael Salmonowicz

Helping struggling students before it’s too late.

About six months ago, I read an article detailing the academic struggles of a second-grade student and the steps his mother was taking to help him. Among his troubles were misbehavior in the classroom and poor academic performance, particularly in reading, where he was a full grade level behind. I was thrilled to see that the boy’s mother was deeply involved in his education and trying to get him on track. After all, we know that once children slip behind in school, it can be hard for them to catch up. A recent report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation discusses the importance of students being able to read on grade level by the end of third grade, and the long-term consequences for society when they cannot. And in a 2009 Detroit Free Press op-ed, the late Myles Brand, former president of both Indiana University and the NCAA, explained the necessity of early-childhood learning succinctly and powerfully:

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