The Crisis

You may have experienced, or at least heard about our nation’s crisis in education. Here are a few statistics that certainly justify a cross-country wake-up call:

• Nationwide, nearly one in three U.S. high school students fails to graduate.
• 70% of 3rd graders who read below grade level never catch up.
• 70% of high school dropouts have reading problems.

This list could go on and on but just these three statements are enough to establish that we are beyond a crisis. Practically all efforts at education including education reform have focused on the teaching aspect of the educational crisis.  Certification, professional development, curriculum design and development, and educational services are all related to what teachers (educators) do.  As children have increasingly struggled to learn, education reform has responded by placing a greater focus and emphasis on the teaching process.

The crisis now is not primarily a teaching crisis, but our testing and research shows us that it is fundamentally a learning crisis.  Teaching and tutoring alone cannot solve the problem.

A variety of studies have shown that most students who struggle with learning have one of more weak cognitive skills.  Cognitive skills are the underlying mental tools that allow a person to successfully read, hear, think, prioritize, plan, understand, remember, and solve problems.

Most scientists agree that cognitive skills can be grouped into seven major (core) categories that include: Processing Speed, Working Memory, Attention, Long-Term Memory, Visual Processing, Auditory Processing, and Logic and Reasoning.

With the fact that a high percentage of learning problems can be linked to weak cognitive skills, a student who has difficulty learning typically has one or more seriously deficient cognitive skills. Even a student performing fairly well in school may be an inefficient learner spending a lot of extra time doing homework. Nearly all students can benefit from cognitive skill evaluation and training, but those with weaker skills can gain the most.

Assessing and building cognitive skills is the best hope to unlock new learning potential for these children.  If we want all children to have a chance to be self-sufficient and successful, especially those from lower-income and minority families, we must change how we approach education for those children who need to process information better and faster in order to perform and achieve up to their full potential.

To learn more, contact us at – EmpowerKidz is your Sacramento area resource to identify your child’s learning needs and optimize their capacity to learn.

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