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[Susan notes: Stephen Krashen scores again, making the point clearly and powerfully.]

Published in Los Angeles Times

To the editor

Published in Los Angeles Times, April 9

Re "Cheapskate Conservatives Cheat Students," Opinion, April 3:

Rothstein notes that "disadvantaged children's [test] scores fall during the summer break, while middle-class children's don't."

Research tells us why reading scores fall: Children of poverty have less access to books during the summer; they have far fewer books at home and live in neighborhoods with inferior public libraries. This means they read less and therefore make less progress in reading, writing and vocabulary development. Some of the "added dollars" Rothstein calls for should go to libraries, especially in high-poverty areas.

California's libraries clearly need better funding. In addition to having the worst school libraries in the U.S., California's public libraries are also among the worst, with libraries in the Los Angeles area the furthest behind: In a recent University of Wisconsin study, Los Angeles ranked 73, Anaheim 78 and Santa Ana 79 out of 79 American cities in public library quality.

Stephen Krashen

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