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      School standards set to start on smaller students

      Starting this year, students from birth through third grade will be taught using the Georgia Early Learning and Development standards, a new set of benchmarks put in place to help teachers gauge a child's performance without any added stress on the student.

      "If they don't master the skill, it's not even recognized that they don't master it, it just means we play that game more or we'll put it up until they're more ready, perhaps for a particular game," said Mother TMs Love Child Care Center owner, Lynn Ross.

      "Bright from the Start" Commissioner Bobby Cagle toured Ross TMs center on Tuesday as they prepared to welcome students back using the new guidelines on Thursday.

      An emphasis will be placed on sounds and words as a way to help younger kids master reading by the time they're required to use those skills. Officials say they believe the method will help combat one of Georgia's number one issues: the growing dropout rate.

      "Children that do not develop language and literacy skills at a very young age are much more apt to drop out of school so we're working on the Governor's goal of having all children reading on grade level by the end of third grade," said Commissioner Cagle.

      In order to reach that goal, officials say it needs to be a team effort that requires the cooperation of parents as well, who can help their child succeed by realizing the importance of daily attendance and practicing learning methods outside of the classroom.

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