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[Susan notes: At least the Columbus Dispatch isn't waving the banner for Common Core 'magic bullets.' But only one expert--at the very end of the article--Shaun Harper, the director of the University of Pennsylvania Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education, argues for more government investment in poverty neighborhoods. I assume that would mean libraries. And a living wage for people who lives in those poverty neighborhoods.]

Submitted to Columbus Dispatch but not published

To the editor

The Dispatch feels there is no magic bullet to close achievement gaps ( Wide racial gaps persist in education testing, Sept. 22.). But there is a magic bullet: the library.

There is enormous evidence that self-selected pleasure reading is the source of much of our literacy development: Those who read more read better, write better, spell better, have larger vocabularies, and better grammar.

Students who live in poverty are "behind" in reading because they have few books in their homes. They also live in neighborhoods with few bookstores and with poorly-funded and often distant public libraries. Their only sure source of books is the school library. Strong school libraries with certified librarians can help close the gap in reading between high- and low-poverty students.

Students who start to read for pleasure at any age, at grade three or in high school, can make excellent progress in literacy development.

This letter posted at: SKrashen Blogspot

Stephen Krashen

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