Friday, October 7, 2011

1 in 4 Students Are in the Bottom Quartile in Reading

School is in session. But what kind of schools are we sending our kids to?

Every morning as we send our eager fourth graders off to school, ready to learn with their backpacks and lunch boxes, we are entrusting them to an education system that accepts the fact that nearly 25% of them are reading in the bottom quartile on standardized tests.

Let me repeat again in bold for added emphasis: One in four U.S. fourth graders are reading in the bottom quartile. This is not okay.

At Last Stand for Children First, it's our goal to make sure every child in America has a great teacher in every classroom. From improving teacher evaluations, to ending seniority-based teacher layoffs, to public shamings, there are many ways we can elevate the teaching profession so that are best and brightest will embark on a teaching career for 2 or even 3 years before moving on to something else.

Class size also has an enormous impact on the economic outlook of their students. Research shows that each year, a highly effective teacher can increase the expected lifetime earnings of his or her students by $20,000. In a classroom of twenty students, the total economic impact of a highly effective teacher amounts to $400,000.  However, with the reform success that together we achieved in Michigan, we frequently see class sizes of 50.  A highly effective teacher in a class room of fifty students has an economic impact of $1,000,000. 

Our children cannot wait. Our economy cannot wait. We cannot wait. We must improve our schools now — and to do it, we must have an effective teacher under 25 years of age in every classroom. 

We'll be in touch,

Myron Miner
CEO and Founder
Last Stand for Children First


  1. It's such easy math - you gotta wonder why child-haters like Diane Ravitch keep refusing to understand.

  2. It is easy math. In any group, no matter how advanced or behind in their skills, 1 in 4 kids are in the bottom quartile. In fact, that is pretty much the definition of the bottom quartile.

    I am not saying we shouldn't be exploring better ways of teaching literacy to our kids, but I am thinking that math needs to be propped up as well, from this example.

  3. You do realize what a quartile is? It just means that you divide the scors, whatever they are, into quarters. If every child in America scored over 90% on reading tests, 1/4 of them would still be in the "bottom quartile." That's what a quartile is. I don't know if you're trying to manipulate people, which is disgusting, or just don't understand statistics, which is sad. Either way, I have to question your fitness for working in and around education.

  4. LOL NEWSFLASH: "1 in 4 in bottom quartile!"

    I'm sending that in to David Lettermen's stupid headlines segment!

  5. Here's my response:

    "1 in 4 students in top quartile for reading!"

  6. This is one of the stupidest mistakes I've ever seen. Wow. I mean .. wow.

    Did you know that 10% of Americans make more money than 90% of Americans?

    Did you know that approximately half of all American families have incomes that are below average?

  7. OK I know the 1 in 4 part has likely been beaten to the core but the last line is killing me. "we must have an effective teacher under 25 years of age in every classroom." Is this man truly saying that the only effective teachers are those that have JUST gotten their teaching license and not the veteran teachers who know the ropes (well until all those ropes are changed by the state board and then all hell breaks loose). I seriously doubt this man has any true educational background in a classroom. If he has then he would realize the first 5 years of teaching is the hardest and most stressful and many times teachers don't make it to their 5th year.

  8. This letter is hilarious and I am shocked that so many do not see the ironic humor with which it was written. I like the "shaming" part the best. Best laugh I have had in weeks.