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[Susan notes: Great Krashen letter with a zinger conclusion.]

Submitted to USA Today but not published
08/19/2004

To the editor



USA Today argues that "without pressure to improve, schools would be given a green light to return to unacceptable practices," a statement that assumes that American schools have been doing things wrong("Education law requires fixes, not a full-scale retreat," August 19).



This assumption has been challenged. Highly respected scholars Gerald Bracey, David Berliner and Bruce Biddle have published careful analyses showing that schools in the USA have not failed and have not gotten worse. In fact, we do quite well in international comparisons.



The real problem, as Francisca Lucas points out

("Programs lack funding," August 19), is funding. Low achieving schools are nearly always schools in high poverty areas and that are typically under-funded. Parents of children in these schools do not have means to make up for under-funding from their own pockets.



The money spent on expensive, high-stakes testing

would be better spent on school libraries and science labs, investments with obvious and verified payoffs.



Instead of weighing the animal more frequently and

more precisely, let's feed it.



S

Stephen Krashen


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