EVERY Child Deserves Access to a High-Quality Education from Early Learning on Up

As the American Rescue Plan (ARP) hits educational agencies and the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE), there is an opportunity in Virginia and in our country to rethink educational systems and help our students get back on track.

More children from all socioeconomic backgrounds are behind as a result of the pandemic.  The most recent research tells us that:

  • More children are entering kindergarten without key readiness skills in literacy, math, social skills and self-regulation (VKRP 2020).
  • More black and brown children entered kindergarten without the skills they need to be successful academically and socially.
  • More kindergarten and first grade students started the school year at high risk of reading failure compared to last year (PALS, Fall 2020).
  • Black, Hispanic, English learners (EL) and children from economically disadvantaged homes were at greater risk of reading failure (PALS, Fall 2019 to Fall 2020).
  • The increased number of kindergarten and first grade students starting the school year at high risk for reading failure is a threat to third grade reading outcomes for years to come (UVA COVID-19 Research Brief, Fall 2020).

As we move forward, we must focus on policy changes that will increase access for ALL families to high-quality early learning on up.  Every child deserves a high-quality education.

Our school leaders and teachers face unprecedented challenges.  They will have to simultaneously balance the academic and social-emotional needs of their children and students.  It has been a year of loss, loneliness, boredom and isolation.  Critical gaps in achievement and learning exist more than ever before.  We need to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of each child, work in partnership with families and differentiate learning in the classroom to meet those needs and close the gaps.

Over the next few weeks, E3 is talking with stakeholders and experts across the state to better understand the challenges and innovative solutions needed to support our children, teachers, families, programs and schools.  Those conversations will help to shape our advocacy and policy work going forward.  Are you interested in sharing your thoughts and chiming in?  Send Lorie Lee an email at llee@e3va.org to set up a time to talk with our E3 team.

Invest in our Children!