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[Susan notes: All one has to do is read Stephen's Krashen's research on free voluntary reading. Also see Keith Oatley in Scientific American. If you want the full article, ask and I'll send you a pdf file.]

Published in New York Times

To the editor

Re Nonfiction Curriculum Enhanced Reading Skills, Study Finds (news article, March 12): It is instructive to know that second graders who received a Core Knowledge curriculum performed better than comparison groups on measures of reading. But every choice of curriculum -- and, more important, every choice of an assessment measure -- entails a value judgment.

Those educators who selected a reading program that valued fictional works presumably thought that was an appropriate emphasis. It is now up to those educators to provide measures that might reveal better performances on their curriculum -- for example, richer imaginations by students or a greater likelihood of reading books of any sort outside the school environment.

Howard Gardner

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