Only 83% of High School Seniors graduated on time in the State of Kansas after the 2010-2011 school year (ED.gov). National studies indicate that it is likely 60% of the students who failed to graduate that year could not read proficiently (aecf.org). For these students, their inability to reach proficiently stems from elementary school. The Annie E. Casey foundation has found that 16% of students who cannot read proficiently by the end of 3rd grade will eventually drop out in High School. At this rate, these students are four times more likely to drop out than students who reach reading proficiently by that time.
The third grade marks a turning point in education. From fourth grade on students must read to learn. Every year a student cannot read proficiently his ability to keep up with his peers decreases and he falls farther behind. Early education programs with consistent and proven methods will lead to proficiency in third grade and eventually to graduation.
Please help me petition Governor Brownback and the Kansas Legislature for development and funding of preschool, mandatory full day Kindergarten, and summer programs to promote reading proficiency by the end of third grade.