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August 25, 2011

Back to School

by PBUnitedWay

Palm Beach County schools are back in session. Back to school means, new teachers, new friends, new clothes, new school supplies and, sometimes, even a new school. Though it’s an exciting time for students (and especially their parents), many issues still loom, and they can’t be ignored.


  • Locally, 13% of children scored “not ready” on the Early Childhood Observation System (ECHOS)
  • According to the 2010 Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, 28% of public fourth grade students and 61% of public tenth grade students read below grade level.
  • Even worse, 1 in 3 fourth graders scores below “basic” in reading on NAEP, which means that the child can barely read, and lacks even partial mastery of fundamental knowledge and skills.
  • Only 29.6% of 8th graders read proficiently for their grade level.
  • Fewer than 2 in 10 eighth graders are on track for college-level work.  This means than 8 in 10 won’t have the knowledge and skills to succeed in high school.
  • Studies show that 88% of first graders who are below grade level in reading will continue to read below grade level in fourth grade.

The Town of Palm Beach United Way believes that education is the cornerstone of individual and community success. But with more than 1.2 million children dropping out each year, America faces an education crisis. The cost? More than $312 billion in lost wages, taxes and productivity over their lifetimes. These trends are reversible, but only when communities and public, private and nonprofit sectors work together.


  • Volunteer – Make an impact in your community as a volunteer reader, mentor or tutor!
  • Advocate – Contact your local and state representatives!
  • Register to vote!
  • Start a conversation – Start a blog or share your concerns on social networking sites!
  • Invest in education – Make a donation!

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