We all want young people to get the full benefit of their education and go on to succeed in life. To do that, they need to start off as able learners in the beginning of their school years.
In Chemung County, we can do a better job of preparing young children for school. Currently, too many of our young children are starting school without the strong foundation they need to begin a successful journey of learning. For example, in the 2005-06 school year, 39% of incoming kindergarteners in Elmira did not meet early literacy screening standards. (Early literacy means skills that are prerequisites for learning to read.)
Students who start school without certain basic skills are at risk of getting stuck in an unproductive struggle to catch up: an examination of the results of Grade 4 English Language Arts tests reveals that 38% of Elmira City students score below state proficiency levels.