Will your preschooler be ready for kindergarten? Will your preschooler START SMART? In our state only 41.5% of kindergartners demonstrate expected reading skills and only 49.2% of children, K–grade 3, are reading at grade level. This non-accomplishment is not unique to my state of Louisiana. The United States of America has the undistinguished record of being “below average” in reading and math when compared to 34 industrialized countries. Yes. Below average. Even though Louisiana has been trailing most states in education achievement, the recent report issued by the State Department of Education reveals a shocking new low in achievement. In a report highlighting the state’s literacy status the Baton Rouge Advocate reported it is “unfathomable”! I say that it is a “crying shame”!

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