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[Susan notes: Stephen Krashen is a treasure. And indefatigable, responding to every manner of corporate political chicanery--and media compliance/silence. And we should all inform ourselves by reading David Berliner's recent paper.]

Submitted to New York Times but not published

To the editor

Re: "Study Cites Dire Economic Impact of Poor Schools," April 22.

Contrary to NY Schools chancellor Joel Klein's statement, the

McKinsey report on achievement in American schools did not show that

the "root cause" of the achievement gap was "subpar teachers and

principals" rather than poverty. Rather, the report showed that some

high-poverty schools might be doing better than others. The authors of

the report did not dismiss the impact of "out of school factors."

Klein might want to review the vast research showing the negative

effects of poverty on children's learning, including lack of proper

food, high levels of stress and violence, toxic environments,

inadequate medical care, and the lack of reading material at home and

in the community.

A good place is start is David Berliner's recent paper, "Poverty and

Potential: Out-of-School Factors and School Success," available for

free on the internet at


Stephen Krashen

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