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[Susan notes: Again, kudos to Krashen for focusing on what does work for kids.]

Submitted to New York Post but not published

To the editor

Spending five billion on closing and reopening schools is a dubious

cure for low performance ("Obama wants to see 5,000 failing schools close," by Libby Quaid, Associated Press). If we want a sure thing, we should invest

the money in school libraries.

Research shows that children in schools with quality school libraries

staffed with credentialed librarians do better in reading, writing,

spelling, grammar and vocabulary. The reason for this is obvious:

Children read more when they have more access to books, and more

reading results in better reading (as well as spelling, grammar,

vocabulary, and writing ability). Libraries provide this access,

especially for children of poverty who often have no other source of

reading material.

How about investing the five billion in a special school library

fund, with the interest earned dedicated to improving school libraries

in high poverty areas? Instead of one-time awkward and expensive

turnarounds with no guarantee of success, the library fund provides

what children really need and will last forever.

Stephen Krashen

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