Is Minnesota "dropping the ball" in Education?

The StarTribune recently published an editorial that showcases the findings from our statewide poll of voters’ support for early education. Those polled stretched across geographic areas, party lines and socioeconomic strata. Overwhelmingly, they agreed that making sure all children in Minnesota enter kindergarten fully prepared is a top priority for the state to address now.

Northfield has an Early Childhood Initiative: a group of people who are committed to strengthening early childhood experiences in Northfield.  One third (1/3) of incoming Kindergarteners in Northfield are not prepared for kindergarten!  They have not learned basic concepts such as: under, over and through, colors, letter recongition or book skills (holding a book, opening it etc.) 

The Northfield Early Childhood Initiative is involved in improving our young children's learning opportunities so that they are given every chance to reach their full potential in school, and in life!  I invite you to join us!  For more information, call the Northfield School District's Community Services Division at 645-3750, visit our website at http://www.nfld.k12.mn.us/commservdiv/welcome.shtml, or call me at 645-1804.


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Source?

"One third (1/3) of incoming Kindergarteners in Northfield are not prepared for kindergarten! They have not learned basic concepts such as: under, over and through, colors, letter recongition or book skills (holding a book, opening it etc.)"

What is the source for this information?

Alexander J. Beeby
Father, Friend, Citizen

How many are recent immigrants?

I have another question about the one third who are said to be unprepared for kindergarten.  How many of them come from families that are recent immigrants to Northfield from Latin America or other third world areas?  Is it possible that their unpreparedness may be more a result of language barriers and different cultural and socio-economic norms than it is a result of Minnesota "dropping the ball"?

in reply-glad you asked!

The report was part of a state wide survey taken about 3 years ago and presented by then Longfellow Principal Amy Hamborg.  The report was the empitus of the the Early Childhood Initiative and strengthening Booker the Northfield Book Bus outreach programs and our 1st Steps Early Literacy Center at the Library.

As to the demographics of the percentage- it is mostly related to the economic level of the parents.  Children who are read to and spoken to in any language can be ready for Kindergarten.  It's all another example of our responsiblity to allow and encourage all Minnesotans to be well educated- it's kinda hereditary!   If you didn't learn it- you don't  necessarily pass it on.  It also reflexs Minnesota's nation wide drop in the quality of education available to Minnesota's residents.