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[Susan notes: Thank goodness for Steve Krashen. Why would professional groups in general and librarians in particular throw in the towel on NCLB? It is immoral to look where your bread is buttered and to ignore the starving.]

Published in School Library Journal
01/20/2004

To the editor



" If 2003 represented the cold reality that indeed the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) is here to stay,then 2004 will be the year librarians learn how to become effective, frontline players in the President's plan to improve literacy skills among our nation's children." (Evan St. Lifer, Editor, SLJ).





Sent to the School Library Journal, January 20





Before cozying up to No Child Left Behind (""What's in store for 2004," "A Golden Opportunity,"SLJ, January 2004), I suggest that school librarians take a closer look at what some critics of NCLB are saying, especially concerning those aspects related to reading instruction. NCLB insists that all children follow a rigid, intensive phonics program that many respected scholars feel is not supported by the research, it proclaims that recreational reading in school is unimportant, and forces schools and districts to engage in inappropriate and excessive testing. I invite readers of the School Library Journal to look at both sides: To see what some of the critics are saying, start with books by Gerald Coles (Reading the Naked Truth: Literacy, Legislation and Lies), Frank Smith (Unspeakable Acts, Unnatural Processes), Elaine Garon (Resisting Reading Mandates), and Susan Ohanian (Whatever Happened to Recess and Why are our Children Struggling in Kindergarten?). I also suggest Susan Ohanian's website (http//www.susanohanian.org) and of course my website: http://www.sdkrashen.com.





Stephen Krashen, Emeritus Professor, USC


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