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[Susan notes: Stephen Krashen notes that the word limit at the LA News is 125 words so he had to leave out research documentation. Nonetheless, he packs plenty into this short letter.]

Published in Los Angeles Daily News
09/01/2011

To the editor



Re 'Snapshot' of reform shows mixed results (Aug. 30): School reform always has limited results because it avoids the real problem: poverty.



Los Angeles has a very high rate of child poverty. Poverty means poor nutrition, inadequate health care and little access to books at school, at home and in the community. All of these impact school performance. The best teaching has little effect when students are hungry, in poor health and have little to read.



Our efforts to protect children from the effects of poverty have been dismal. For children of poverty, libraries are their primary source of books. Nevertheless, Los Angeles ranks near the bottom of the country in public library quality and California ranks near the bottom in school library quality.





Stephen Krashen


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