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[Susan notes: We need to keep pointing out to reporters that only in Lake Wobegone are all children above average.]

Published in Orlando Sentinel

Grade Level Means Average

Myriam Marquez ("Why wait until third grade to do what should be done?" March 24) is worried because one-third of Florida's third graders are not reading at grade level. "Grade level" means average, the 50th percentile. In other words, two-thirds of Florida's third graders are reading at or above the national average! That's very good.

I should also point out that reading at the national average is a respectable accomplishment. The US consistently scores well when compared to other countries. Our nine year olds ranked second among 32 countries in the 1992 international comparisons.

Stephen Krashen, Ph.D.
Emeritus Professor
University of Southern California

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