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[Susan notes: We keep trying.]

Submitted to Los Angeles Times but not published

To the editor

There is a consensus that No Child Left Behind didn't work ( Can two federal bills finally fulfill goals of No Child Left Behind? July 19), but the congressional proposals for the new education law either focus on the wrong issues (federal vs. state authority) or keep bad features of NCLB (required annual high stakes testing).

Study after study has shown that the main cause of low school achievement not a lack of local control or a lack of tests. The main cause is poverty.

The level of poverty in some districts exceeds 95%. The best teaching in the world has little effect when students are hungry, ill, and have little or no access to books.

Let's replace No Child Left Behind by insisting on a living wage that leaves No Child Left Unfed, No Child Without Adequate Health Care and No Child Without Easy Access to a Good Library.

Stephen Krashen and Susan Ohanian

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