Starting Fresh: Students enter Kindergarten and all too quickly accumulate gaps that cripple later grade learning.
Student learning gaps result in today’s most serious education challenges… retention and dropouts. They lower student achievement in school, on assessments and in life. They undermine our public schools and society.
A learning gap is formed when a student fails to learn and apply what is expected at a specific point in time and at a specific level of proficiency.
Understanding how gaps form, how they are prevented, detected and corrected is fundamental for school system success. The crippling effects of learning gaps is illustrated below and in our downloadable presentation, Learning Gaps and Tractor Pulls. The On-Grade Model employs active prevention and correction of gaps as they form enabling 'on-grade' teaching and learning.
The K-12 spread of gap-free, content-transfer success across all courses and grades defines on-grade teaching and learning. It is the foundation of the On-Grade Student Achievement Model.
Student learning gaps passed to the next grade become significant, often unsolvable problems that causes teachers to intervene more and teach course content less – a long-term losing proposition.
The grade to grade record of a solid “C” student may appear acceptable, but behind the passing "C" grades are learning gaps. If any of these gaps are in scaffolded knowledge and skills, intervention will be needed to build the foundation proficiencies before new grade content can be learned.
Teachers are accountable for transferring the grade level course content and are handed problem with learning gaps and must make choices:
In reality, the learning gaps are not fully and specifically known and may not be discovered until the student fails to learn the new material and then some intervention will be attempted.
In the end, prior grade gaps breed more gaps and catching up without deliberate and focused intervention is extremely difficult.