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[Susan notes: Good for Stephen Krashen, calling Charles Blow to account. Blow believes in his own anecdotal evidence of the power of self-selected reading, but for other kids, advocates a government solution.]

Submitted to New York times but not published

To the editor

Charles Blow's inspirational testimonial ( Reading is fundamental, January 22) in support of reading is supported by mountains of research showing that voluntary reading results in tremendous growth in all areas of literacy.

Is this the same Charles Blow who enthusiastically endorsed the Common Core Standards in the Times a few months ago ( The Common Core and the Common Good, August 21)? Because of its rigid curriculum and constant testing, the Common Core allows very little room for self-selected reading, and insists that children only read material at or above their current reading level.

The common core requires an investment of billions to support online testing. Students living in poverty (23% of children in the US) have little access to books at home or at school. If Mr. Blow is right about reading, we should be investing billions in libraries, not in technology that will be obsolete in a few years.

Stephen Krashen

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