Atkinson to Ed Committee: Pre-K Crucial to Academic Achievement

Making the case for pre-K programming, state Superintendent June Atkinson told lawmakers on Tuesday that early childhood education is critical to closing the achievement gap for economically disadvantaged students.

She highlighted statistics showing that 60 percent of students who are on the federal free and reduced lunch program are proficient in reading. In contrast, more affluent students are 90 percent proficient.

“That gives us a sense of urgency and that will also require us as adults to address some of the root causes,” she said, “and some of those root causes for this statistic is that some of our students, especially our students who are economically disadvantaged, do not have quality early childhood education programs.

She made her comments while giving the Education Oversight Committee an update on North Carolina’s Race to the Top initiative.

In addition to early childhood education, she also made reference to the state’s remediation rate at the postsecondary level. Race to the Top, she noted, has several goals, including a 100 percent graduation rate, increased college enrollment, and a 10 percent remediation rate.

It contrasts sharply with the 60 percent remediation rate often referenced by Governor-elect Pat McCrory as a reason for statewide education reform, one that includes a renewed emphasis on career and technology education.

Recent figures show that the remediation rate is slightly higher, or 65 percent, but both figures omit the remediation rate for four-year institutions. That figure is 8.4 percent.




Check Also

“Diploma Divide”

While educational attainment is improving for all subgroups, ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

By the time Phillip Armachain was arrested last year, the 50-year old man from Cherokee had for year [...]

When the N.C. General Assembly’s top staffer announced plans last week to roll out sexual harassment [...]

It took five deadlocked votes along party lines and a failed suggestion to draw names from a hat for [...]

Late March is prime spring planting season in North Carolina, and this year, as part of his personal [...]

Ordinary Americans – those of us not allowed to know the secrets of high-level espionage work – at t [...]

Though they are sometimes dressed up in prettified language about “freedom” and “choice” and “market [...]

The post The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree appeared first on NC Policy Watch. [...]

In the aftermath of recent action by state lawmakers to back down from their previously enacted unfu [...]