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[Susan notes: This is priceless. It needs no comment, although I have to say I think adding Arne Duncan's observation is a brilliant move.]

Submitted to Columbus Dispatch but not published

To the editor

High school credit for middle-school courses is of course a step in the right direction, but doesn̢۪t go nearly far enough ( Middle-schoolers get additional shots at taking high-school courses,May 30).

Why wait until middle school? We should strengthen instruction in the earlier years as well. Back in 1998, I called for prenatal phonemic awareness training (published in the professional journal Reading Improvement), which, along with a more rigorous and extensive preschool program, should prepare children for high school credit classes much earlier than middle school.

Of course this increased academic load will require a longer school day. For a reasonable suggestion, please see O'Neal and Hicks' paper in the Journal of Irreproducible Results in which they conclude that a 21-hour school day is optimal, with continuous classes and no breaks, except for two breaks for meals and one lavatory visit.

As US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has said, "America can't wait!"

Stephen Krashen is President, Society for Kindergarten Kalculus


Krashen, S. 1998. Phonemic awareness training for prelinguistic children: Do we need prenatal PA? Reading Improvement 35: 167-171.

O'Neal, R. and Hicks, L. 1991. The 21-hour school day. The Journal of Irreproducible Results, 36 (6): 17

Stephen Krashen

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