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[Susan notes: Stephen Krashen cuts to a serious issue--and provides facts to back it up.]

Submitted to Los Angeles Times but not published
12/29/2009

To the editor

"Restructuring" Fremont High ("LA Unified: It's About Time," Dec 28) means a dress code and replacing experienced teachers with inexperienced teachers. It will not touch the real problem: Fremont is located in a high-poverty area, with 42% of children living in poverty. High poverty means poor nutrition and environmental toxins, which have a profound effect on learning. Poverty also means little access to books at home or in the community, which results in little reading and low reading scores.



We can do something about the lack of access to books. Research shows that library quality and the presence of a credentialed school librarian are related to reading achievement. LAUSD provides zero funding for elementary school librarians and LA ranks 70th out of 75 cities in library quality.



For a fraction of the price of restructuring, LAUSD could improve school libraries in Fremont and its feeder schools and hire credentialed librarians.

Stephen Krashen


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