Last night, I received a call from Meg Whitman! Well me and hundreds of others in Orange County. What made this remarkable was that Meg was actually on the phone, taking calls from listeners. In the past, I’ve received robo-calls at election time urging me to vote for a candidate but never has the actual candidate been on the line.
Not surprisingly, callers like myself were concerned with the deplorable state of K-12 education in California. Meg stated that California ranks 47th in math in the nation. Her priority is to bring money into the classroom and reduce class size. One father said his third grade daughter was in a classroom of 42 students. Meg said of the 70 billion dollars spent in education 40% went to administration and overhead. She wants to give teachers resources to be more effective. She also wants accountability. In Florida, parents give schools a letter grade. Any school that receives an F is turned into a charter school. “Why doesn’t the wealthiest and most technologically advanced state in the nation do a better job educating our children?” she asks.
I had heard her pitch of “talk to Meg.” Well, I am sending her a copy of my workbook. Multiplication skills are critical. Without them, a student can not advance beyond third grade math. Decimals, fractions, percentages, and algebra are beyond a student’s reach. If we had competent third graders who knew how to read and knew their times tables, we would have competent high school students who graduate from high school.
In California, the number one reason students do not graduate from high school is failure to pass algebra. One of the key factors is failure to learn the multiplication tables! Unbelievable, isn’t it? My position has always been that parents must do their part. Any parent know his/her child has not mastered the times tables. Teach your child at home during the evenings and during the summer. I know in this economy, everyone is stressed but you cannot allow your child to be behind in either reading or math. As a parent, you have a huge influence over a third grader. By high school it may be too late.
A child who does well in school is a happy child. Spend time teaching your child. A parent is the child’s first and primary teacher. Loving your child is ensuring your child’s success.