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[Susan notes: We need to follow Stephen Krashen's lead and emphasize the issue ignored by the corporate-politicos, the issue of poverty.]

Published in Daily Breeze (Torrance, CA)

To the editor

Let's deal with the real problems first

The Daily Breeze, along with both the Bush and Obama administrations, assumes that schools will do better if they only try harder ("We ought to keep parts of No Child Left Behind," Feb. 22). And they will only try harder if we "hold them accountable."

This point of view ignores findings that show that American children from higher income families who attend well-funded schools score at or near the top on international tests. This means that the real problem is poverty: Study after study shows that children of poverty suffer from poor nutrition, exposure to environmental toxins, and have little access to reading material, factors clearly associated with school performance.

Let's deal with the real problems before we talk about "accountability" and insist that schools try harder.

Stephen Krashen

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