ThirteenInterventions for Students from Low Resource Environments: The Abecedarian Approach

Craig T. RameyJoseph J. SparlingSharon L. Ramey

Children from poor and undereducated families are at high risk for developmental delay and lack of school readiness. This delay begins in early childhood and is routinely detectable by the second year of life (Martin, Ramey, & Ramey, 1990). Left unaddressed, the prognosis for normal development is bleak. To date we know of no school system in the United States that has reported data that show that these delays, frequently first detected in kindergarten, are routinely being eradicated in the early years of K–12 public education. By routinely treatable, we mean that the academic performance of such delayed development can be overcome so that high-risk children become indistinguishable in academic accomplishment from the typical U.S. student population. We hope that this bold statement will be contradicted by a slew of citations to the contrary. We have made this assertion in learned company before, however, without having our poor scholarship revealed.

If K–12 public education as practiced in the United States is not equipped for this heavy lifting to counteract social and economic disadvantage, then what are the alternatives? ...

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