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[Susan notes: How great can a letter be! Getting good research into a letter to editor.]

Published in Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

To the editor

Your editorial "Test scores can be misleading" (Jan. 20) side-stepped the real issue in comparing U.S. test scores to those of other nations. The real issue is poverty. And yes, schools can protect students against some of the effects of poverty with better food programs and health oversight.

But the most efficient way would be to enhance book collections and support school libraries and school librarians to guide students in self-selected reading. For a full description of the dramatic impact books have on poverty see http://www.sdkrashedn.com/articles/protecting_students.pdf

Sadly, though, with a state budget that has shattered the school system in recent years, school libraries have been among the discards.

The author is Teacher Librarian at Etiwanda High School.

Graciela Cortez

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