Orwell Award Announcement SusanOhanian.Org Home

[Susan notes: There's a great line in this letter, one that will be repeated.]

Submitted to but not published

To the editor

Des Moines Register, March 30

The Register is correct: There is strong and consistent evidence that library quality and reading scores are related ("Librarians cut despite focus on reading," March 30). Moreover, for many children of poverty, the school library is the only source of books; research shows that children from low-income families have far fewer books at home, and live in neighborhoods with inferior public libraries and with fewer book stores.

There are, however, some obvious solutions, even in these days of severe budget problems: First, reduce standardized testing to only those tests that are truly helpful and essential. Instead of spending all our money on weighing the animal, we should spend some money on feeding it.

Second, we should restrict investments in new technology to only those innovations shown to be worthwhile. For the price of a few computers, we can put a lot of books in a school library.

We need to be fiscally conservative, and invest our limited funds on what is known to be effective. School libraries are a sure thing.

Stephen Krashen

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of education issues vital to a democracy. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information click here. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.