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[Susan notes: Here's another important library "connection," one that most people miss.]

Submitted to The Oregonian but not published

To the editor

Sent to the Oregonian

Susan Nielson ( Oregon lawmakers teeter on anti-schools ledge, June 5) argues that Oregon should keep the state writing test to prevent skimping on writing and critical thinking and prevent narrowing the curriculum.

In a Guest Column in the Oregonian on June 1, Joanne Yatvin, former president of the National Council of Teachers of English, explained why writing assessment is a "delusion."

Most evaluations of writing test papers are based on writing style and formal accuracy. Research shows that most of the ability to write coherently and accurately is absorbed from reading. Thus, if we want more coherent and more accurate writing, we should invest in libraries and encourage wide reading.

Actual writing (and rewriting) help us solve problems and thereby stimulates new learning. Writing tests don't measure students' ability to use writing in this way.

There is, as Dr. Yatvin notes, "no connection between testing writing ⦠and learning how to write better."

Stephen Krashen

Commencement Speaker, Lewis and Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling, June 5, 2011

Stephen Krashen

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