BOISE – Idaho Teacher of the Year Erin Lenz, a first-grade teacher at Winton Elementary in Coeur d’Alene, told state lawmakers Monday that the key to education is a focus on early reading skills.
“I am not going to talk about the hot topics in education today, not about education reform, not about teacher evaluation or performance pay, not about college or career readiness,” she told the Senate Education Committee. “What I share with you today has direct implications, though, for all of these issues, and I am absolutely passionate about it: making sure that every child learns to read.”
Said Lenz, “It is imperative that we look at cost-effective means to make sure students are reading at grade level before they leave the primary grades.”
“Over time, the discrepancy between a struggling reader and his peers grows exponentially,” Lenz said. “I work daily with students who walk in the doors feeling defeated when their efforts to read go unrewarded. This is devastating.”
Senators had high praise for Lenz’s presentation; she also spoke to the House lawmakers.
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