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[Susan notes: Persistence pays off! And what a great concluding salvo.]

Published in Washington Post

To the editor

Schools are devoting 90 minutes to three hours a day to reading instruction in preparation for standardized tests, leaving little time for science and social studies [front page, May 31]. Reading time now is filled with activities such as teaching reading strategies, reading short selections and answering questions, and "reading lists of words in unison." But not reading itself.

Ironically, a number of researchers have concluded

that the only way to improve reading is by actually reading interesting, comprehensible texts. Children who read a great deal typically read with high comprehension, develop effective reading strategies, write well and have large vocabularies. If this is true, it means that the large blocks of time devoted to reading instruction may be making things worse, not


Science and social studies have been sacrificed, and students have been given nothing in return.

Stephen Krashen

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