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"[I]t is remarkable that an intervention that is easily defined and implemented can have important lasting benefits at least to the end of middle school for all students."
To what is the quote referring? Floortime? Occupational therapy? Behaviorial therapy? Diet? A supplement?
Answer: None of the above.
The excerpt is referring to an intervention that is elegant in its simplicity: classroom size. Science Daily reports:
Small classes in early grades improve test scores in later grades for students of all achievement levels, but low achievers get an extra boost. That's the finding of a study on the long-term effects of class size in the November issue of the American Journal of Education.The study followed 11,000 students and found that:
...small classes—13 to 17 students—are most effective when they are consistent from kindergarten through third grade. Students in consistently small early classes had substantially higher test scores in grades four through eight than students who had been in larger classes. Students at all achievement levels benefited, but low achievers showed stronger benefits in reading and science.Which is interesting because at least one noted blogger has hypothesized that "sensory processing disorders are probably among the most common reasons children underachieve in school."
Which is also interesting because my school district is amidst a budget crisis and a school crowding problem. The town I live in is having an override vote in December to fund some needed school repairs. If it doesn't pass, the children from the sick building may be forced to fan out into the already crowded grammar schools.
While I can't control how my town spends its money, I can control how I spend mine. Which is to say, I can send Brad to private school, if he can get over the admissions hump and can function without an aid.
I may look back at this very idea as crazy talk, but for now, it's something I'm at the very least considering down the road. Not for preschool, but for K-5 or K-8, when classroom size makes a preciptious jump in the public school setting. Private school offers small classroom size and appreciation of individual learning styles, and some "typical" private schools offer special ed-type services, including services for language and social pragmatics.
That having been said, my husband and I are both public school graduates and believers in the public school system. For most.