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[Susan notes: Fine letter. I'd just point out that the poverty rate in schools labeled as 'troubled' exceeds 90%.]

Submitted to USA Today but not published

To the editor

Re: Common Core demonized as Obamacare (April 23, 2014)

USA Today does not mention the real opposition to the common core, criticisms from professional educators and scholars.

The common core does not deal with the real reason for unspectacular performance by American students. The US has the second highest level of child poverty among all 34 economically advanced countries (now over 23%, compared to high-scoring Finland's 5.4%). When researchers control for the effect of poverty, American scores on international tests are at the top of the world.

Poverty means poor nutrition, inadequate health care, and lack of access to books, among other things. All of these profoundly impact school performance.

Instead of protecting children from the effects of poverty, the common core provides "tough" standards and more testing than has ever been seen on this planet. There is zero evidence that harder standards and increased testing help students.

Stephen Krashen

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