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[Susan notes: Note: The article that was in the Taiwan News was reprinted from the New York Times.

Of course Krashen is right when he expresses dismay that we invest billions in an astonishing amount of testing while ignoring the real problem: poverty. ]

Submitted to Taiwan News but not published

To the editor

America's new common core is a bad solution to a problem that does not exist ( Common core, in 9 year old eyes, June 18).

The common core is intended to fix America's "broken schools," but the major problem in education in the US is poverty: The US now ranks 34th in the world out of 35 economically developed countries in child poverty: when researchers control for the effect of poverty, US international test scores are at the top of the world.

The obvious path is to protect children from the impact of poverty: improve nutrition through school food programs, improve health care through investing more in school nurses, and improving access to books through investing in school libraries. Studies show, unsurprisingly, that children who are hungry, ill and have little or nothing to read, do not do well in school. Instead, the US government is investing billions in a tougher, more "rigorous" curriculum and instituting an astonishing amount of testing, more than we have ever seen on this planet. There is no evidence that any of this will help children.

Susan Ohanian has provided an accurate description of the common core: "a radical untried curriculum overhaul" combined with "nonstop national testing."

Stephen Krashen

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