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Professor McElvany – keynote speech and panel discussion on the Startchancen program

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Gruppenbild der Beteiligten beim Startchancen-Programm u.a. mit Nele McElvany © Tristan Unkelbach

At the event "Education independent of the parental home: How does the Startchancen program become an educational revolution?" representatives from politics and science exchanged views on the opportunities and challenges of the program in the Bundestag on October 19, 2023. As part of the Startchancen program, four thousand general and vocational schools are to be supported over ten years starting in the 2024/25 school year with an investment program, an opportunity budget and additional staff. After the event was opened by Federal Education Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger, education researcher Professor McElvany emphasized in her keynote speech that in order to improve equal opportunities, average (reading) proficiency must be increased and the proportion of weak readers as well as social and migration-related disparities must be reduced. In addition to a clear prioritization of ensuring basic competencies in the elementary school years, he said, deliberate differentiation and combination of high-quality instruction in a classroom context for all, learning in small groups, and individualized support services are particularly important. "The Startchancen program can make an important contribution to increasing equity, because the funds are used in a needs-based way and predominantly reach those who need them most," McElvany concludes.