Come on 42815
"הסעיף הראשון ברור למדי: מה שמתקלקל בגן הילדים, לא יצליחו לתקן באוניברסיטה. הנזק של מחדל חינוכי הוא נזק מצטבר. ריבית הפיגורים מביאה את הילד למצב של פשיטת רגל עוד בטרם הוא מסיים את לימודיו בחטיבת הביניים. ילד שחוסן מפני חשיבה דוגמטית, סיסמאות, צרות אופקים, וניכור - יתגבר על מה שמערכת החינוך תנסה לעשות לו על-מנת שיזכה בסוף הדרך לתעודת בגרות."
Dear Mr. Lamm, allow me to disagree with you on this point (and on many other points, that have only been criticized in previous responses of the other readers). Intervention programs have proven to be highly efficient, even in the high school level (you can look at the current research on CES schools in the United States, for example). The economic look at education is invalid, for qualitative reasons raised above (use of welfare services, kids per family, etc). Even if I assume that your look at education from a purely economic point of view is not out of personal agreement, but more out of a realization that every investor seeks returns (political votes, that is), your concluding recommendations are not grounded. If I was to make recommendations to the government, not kindergarten nor advanced research students would be the chosen populations. Since in the Israeli education system, the point of failure is in graduating high school (this is where students are being sorted to those who will enter higher education and those who will enter the labor market as unskilled workers), the best returns would be for resources allocated to high schools. Over 90% of students reach high school, but only about 60% will graduate it (I don't have the exact numbers, can anyone help?). Whether it be a reform in graduation requirements or a reform in high school teachers sallaries/instruction/retention, this is an option that was not even attended to in your article.

Graduation rates 42816
Got the exact numbers - in Israel, by the end of high school, 80% of the age group are still in school, but only 50% of them will be entitled for a high school diploma.
Come on 42972
אבל עצם טענתו של לם היא כי הסיבה לנפילה הפתאומית הזו באחוזי ההצלחה נעוצה אי שם בכיתות הנמוכות. אדם יכול להצליח לגרור עצמו עד כיתה י''ב גם בלי שתהיה לו יכולת סבירה להבנת הנקרא. הוא צריך בעיקר יכולת לתחמון. אבל בבחינות הבגרות, הוא בהכרח יכשל. לכן, את עיקר ההשקעה צריך לעשות בכיתות הנמוכות, שם הילדים יקבלו את הבסיס שהם צריכים לו לא רק כדי להגיע לי''ב, אלא גם כדי לקבל בגרות.
Come on 42980
Research has shown us that it is not necessarily so. Student disengagement is, indeed, believed to begin at an early age (but not kindergarten, more like 3rd grade), and it reaches its pick in high school. However, a high-performing elementary school student may end up being a low-performing high schooler, and vice versa. If middle and high schools are poorly organized, even the best lower-grade program will not improve graduation rates.
Traditionally, public moneys have been allocated to the lower grades, and look where we stand as far as high school graduation goes. I think that this is the main reason to my objection - it is highly popular to focus on the lower grades, and the system ends up with a neglected middle/high school system and rediculous graduation exams.

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