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[Susan notes: 3 Cheers for Krashen: He won't let reporters forget that libraries matter.]

Published in

To the editor

Your reporting of the 2003 National Assessment of Educational Progress results ("Math Climbs, Reading Flat on '03 NAEP," Nov. 19, 2003) missed a crucial state: California.

When California 4th graders placed last in the United States in 1992 in reading, the experts blamed whole-language instruction. Whole language

has been purged and replaced by "systematic, intensive phonics." Yet California's NAEP reading scores are still in the basement.

Studies show a clear relationship between access to books and reading scores (including NAEP). California's school libraries remain the worst

in the country, its public libraries are among the worst. We need to invest more in libraries, not workbooks.

Stephen Krashen

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