Numbers, Please
---Dorothy van den Honert

Why is poor reading such a big deal?  Because the number of dyslectics in this world is mind boggling. In the United States alone there are 3,500,000 children in Special Education for dyslexia. This number will never go down as long as people keep having babies. The supply is permanently between ten and fifteen percent of the population.  A few years ago in my school district we had 1100 kids in SPED for dyslexia. We had a couple of hundred teachers and paraprofessionals for this group for a cost of five-and-a-half million dollars, and that doesn't even include School Psychologists, School Adjustment Counselors, SPED case workers, attendance paras, and supplies.  Most of these kids were in SPED for five or six years and still graduated with reading levels that were below their grade level. Sadly, the cost to society of things like depression and underutilized intelligence are impossible to assess.

Tutoring two kids at a time with the RfS lateralizing program can have them reading at or above grade level in one year.  If your teacher is paid $60,000 a year, that comes to $5000 extra per kid for one  year.  That's all.  No paras, no MCAS training, and no teachers wasting endless time on IEP meetings and paper work.

But it gets worse. Some years ago the Orton Dyslexia Society did a study and found that something like 80% of young men in local lockups are poor readers. Many of those are dyslectic.  In a study on dropouts by WBUR and WGBY in Boston, a Northeastern University economics professor, Andrew Sum, found that a high school dropout is eight times as likely to end up behind bars as a graduate. It seems that jail comes to $80,000 a year.

Are you a tax-payer, by any chance?  



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