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Re: Post from Rep. Tom Trail

>In reflecting back on the need to improve reading scores
You and your colleagues deserve many thanks for these improvements in 
Idaho's educational policy. They will surely help. At the same time, the 
best and most extensive research on child development, dating since the 
ealry l920's, tells us that children's greatest intellectural growth 
occurs from at least two years of age through to about six. These are the 
years when reading readiness ought to begin along with other 
cognition-building activities. It's very sad indeed that the House Ed. 
Committee withdrew the proposal on creating a state-wide network of early 
reading centers that would have launched new efforts at overcoming 
reading handicaps.  Remedial reading after ages 6-7 cannot fully recover 
the losses due to developmental deprivations in previous years. Those of 
us who serve the elementary grades for correcting reading disabilities 
see some progress, but it's often problematic. As you were absent at the 
Ed. Com. hearing on March 12, I mailed  a copy of my deposition on these 
relationships  to your Capitol address and hope that you received it.  
>From an economic investment perspective, one has to question whether the 
new legislations will be the most cost-effective, in light of the 
research findings and experience we now have about child development: 
Where will the dollars do the most good? If some parents oppose 
government-school "interventions into parents' rights", as some of your 
colleagues contend, then we ought at least to allow them a choice, for 
the sake of the children and their future prospects in an increasingly 
competitive society, about enrolling their children in a pre-school, 
since kindergarten is not obligatory. Some parents provide good, early 
nurturing experiences for kids, but many others do not. Perhaps next year 
you can take another look at this issue.  Thanks for your efforts.  W. 

William K. Medlin
Dev-plan associates
930 Kenneth Street
Moscow ID 83843

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