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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Who? When? -- what how and why

USA VALUES - CDP Phone 507-452-2658 or 651-735-3018
Character Development Program Fax 507-452-2202
102 Walnut Street
Winona, Minnesota 55987
(A 501 (c) (3) company)

April 29, 2007

Dear Senator or Representative:

The following outlines of what, how, and why are too logical. Additionally, we respectfully need to know if not you? Who? And, if not now? When?

1. First thing first is too logical to ignore. 100% Proficiency at grade 3 requires proficiency at age 3, 4, 5 and 6 in at least literacy skills to start. At least 80% of those thinking will agree because it is simple, logical and a good start.

2. Keeping 100% of the kids on track in front of the curve of the learning that is possible starting at age 3 is just plain a requirement for our future. Age 3 is the only time we can actually use the phrase keeping 100% of the children on track. This would be a
monumental effort, as important as inoculations. 100% is important as a result but it has to be the goal before it can be the result. Government and Schools are not designed for 100% because it takes one size fits one giving outside of a rule book. So this will never be a government and school goal. It is always smart to know who can do what you cannot do yourself. Also, there are no limits to how the powerful collaborates, so there are no excuses.

3. Pre-K children are highly sensitive to ready to read skills deliveries and can understand age appropriate basic concepts of civility, opportunity, and achievement through stories. Delivering 100% of the children to kindergarten ready to read would prove our communities are effective and working in harmony with those who have the resources. Communities are responsible; 100% delivery would be a show of practical character.

An example of required innovation: The State and Federal Government has been sending education money (to Who?) for 40 years but can’t get the funds to the child who needs a one size fits one delivery to keep up with the practical learning that is possible. The learning gap is created before kindergarten with or without the state and federal money because skill delivery is not directed to the 100% from the bottoms up; as mentioned, governments and schools don’t do 100%; and the bulk of the federal money is directed to remedial efforts after grades 3-8 measure the gap.

Would it surprise the effective citizen that more money will not reach the at risk child? Forget the politics, this is not right. Where is the innovation and commitment.

We need to get simple, smart, and right to move this ball. What you propose to date will not get the job done. The ROI screams at you to lead the new money funding of at least Early Reading Skills to 100% of Age 3-6 Children.

Suggest an annual fund of new money for new deliveries of $175,000,000 be created from 1/3 citizens, 1/3 state and 1/3 federal money. Citizen funding from designated gifts, to support one size fits one commitments, so the whole increment has a chance to reach the most at risk in a one size fits one process. Let principals, pastors, and kindergarten teachers judge whether the children defined in a bottoms up process arrive to start kindergarten ready to read or not. At the age 3-6 start it is very local and very community based. Trust them! The local press will watch them. Let them judge the providers who deserve repeating opportunities to serve and give the gifts. Use your power to jumpstart the new private / public funding and the local efforts will generate the ROI.

Optional All Day Kindergarten is good. But it does little to capture the sensitive period to learning language for 100% of the at risk children before they start kindergarten. It does little to deliver even starts for the kindergarten teachers and ultimate public school funding. The 50% of the children who start ready to read or better really want to keep moving on the world based curve once they get to school. Parents are watching this very closely and might opt-out even faster in the future if the priority is not even starts.

This is a foundational issue, Raising taxes by 1 billion without getting first things first in place for the future is ….. Please add you own ending, or beginning, because you have the power. I gently invite you to think more deeply about how to put us more securely on the world curve of progress.

What This blog post dated 2-6-2007
Why This blog post dated 3-30-2007
When The $200,000,000 new money question for the state?


Thomas D. Wolfgram
Executive Director


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