60 words per minute

It should be so extremely evident that for a kid to be able to learn and progress in school he needs to be able read sufficiently fluent, but perhaps it is not, and therefore many kids will be laggards forever, and nations will be wasting millions in educational resources.

I just saw a short video produced by the World Bank in Peru where they tried to establish whether the kids at the end of their second grade could read 60 words a minute, which supposedly is a minimum, for Spanish. Some could and they were therefore also able to answer some very easy questions on what they had read, but many could not read even one single word and of course had not the slightest idea of what was going on.

After the video I just concluded that if I had kids their age, I would immediately put them to that one single minute test of reading a normal paragraph and if they passed it well, I would then immediately call up their teacher to give him or her a big hug and thanks for a job well done but, if they did not pass the test, then I would run even faster to kick that same teacher in the butt for not doing his or her job, just to follow up kicking the education Minister in the butt for not supervising as he should and, finally, finding someone to kick me really hard in the butt for being such a irresponsible parent and not finding out earlier that there was such an easy an straightforward way to monitor my kids education, in such an effective way.

The video screams out to us the wisdom of that old saying that perfection is biggest the enemy of the good, and to think that such important initiatives as Education for All are just wasting their scarce resources on kids who have not been taught how to just read sufficiently well, also makes oneself want to scream out in despair.

For the video