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[Susan notes: Three cheers! Very concise and on-target. We must repeat this in every newspaper in the land.]

Published in Los Angeles Times

To the editor

John Rogers, quoted in State sees a surprise drop in test scores (August 9) is right: There shouldn't be too much concern about blips, tiny changes, in standardized test scores.

If we are interested in real gains, let's attack the real problem: Poverty. Nearly 25% of students in school in the US live in poverty, which means inadequate diet, lack of health care, and little or no access to books. The best teaching in the world is of little help when students are hungry, ill, and have nothing to read.

Forget the untested, expensive common core: Let's invest more in food programs, health care, and libraries.

Stephen Krashen

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