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[Susan notes: As Krashen points out, this phenomenon has existed for years: parents like their local schools because they know them. For all the others, they base their opinions on what the media tells them.]

Submitted to Washington Post but not published
08/25/2015

To the editor

Re: Schools are too focused on standardized tests poll finds

As is the case every year, the PDK/Gallup poll found that people rate their local schools much more positively than they do schools in the US in general ("U.S. schools are too focused on standardized tests, poll says," August 23).

The differences, as usual, were striking: Seventy percent of parents said they would give the public schools their oldest child attended a grade or A or B, but only 19% would give public schools in the nation an A or B.

An obvious explanation: Parents have direct information about the school their children attend, but their opinion of American education comes from the media. For decades, the media has been presenting a biased view.

In reality, American schools are doing quite well: When researchers control for the effects of poverty, American students' international test scores rank near the top of the world.

I wonder how many of those interviewed know this?





Stephen Krashen


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