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[Susan notes: Further evidence of why Krashen is a National Treasure.]

Submitted to New York Times but not published

To the editor

National tests of reading, poverty, and libraries

Sent to the New York Times

Re: ‘No Child’ Law Is Not Closing a Racial Gap

The recent NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress) report

provided pages of information about differences in reading achievement

between Black and White students, Hispanic and White students, males

and females, and private and public schools. Missing was any mention

of the effect of poverty, a factor that has a much stronger impact on

reading achievement than any of factors the report focused on.

Reading achievement depends largely on the amount of voluntary

reading students do, not on race, gender, or private schooling.

Children of poverty consistently score poorly on tests of reading and

the reason is obvious: They have very little access to books and other

reading material at home, in their communities and in their schools.

Omission of this factor is a mystery, especially because a lack of

access to reading material can be dealt with easily and without great

expense: Improve school and public libraries in high-poverty areas.

Stephen Krashen

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