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[Susan notes: We must make this point over and over and over: the impact of poverty--and not just when talking to ourselves. Write those letters to editor!]

Published in Wall Streeet Journal
02/20/2014

To the editor

Your editorial sends the message that our public schools are failing. They aren't. When researchers control for the effects of poverty, American schools rank near the top of the world. Our overall scores are unspectacular because the child poverty rate in the U.S. is very high, 23%, second-highest among all economically advanced countries. Children of poverty suffer from hunger, malnutrition, inferior health care and lack of access to books. All of these have a powerful impact on school performance. The best teaching in the world won't help when children are hungry, ill and have little or nothing to read.



Our focus should be on protecting children from the impact of poverty.

Stephen Krashen


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