Second language in kindergarten is important……
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Since Congress passed the No Child Left Behind Act in 2001, school quality has primarily been measured in terms of reading and math scores. While there’s a lot to be said for keeping close tabs on how well students are mastering the basics, focusing exclusively on these skills can leave us insufficiently attuned to how well students are faring in other subjects that are crucial to their career success and to the nation’s international competitiveness.

Two of the skill sets that matter most are STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects and world languages. The U.S. Department of Commerce reported in 2011 that the projected growth rate for STEM jobs between 2008 and 2018 was 7 percentage points higher than for non-STEM jobs (17 percent and 9.8 percent growth, respectively) and that STEM workers earned 26 percent more on average than non-STEM workers. That same year, 70 percent of employers predicted that Spanish proficiency would be moderately or highly valued between 2011 and 2021, and 42 percent said the same when it came to proficiency in Chinese.

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