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[Susan notes: Stephen Krashen offers a reasoned response to outrage.]

Submitted to New York Times but not published

To the editor

A new graduate program at Southern Methodist

University will be fully consistent with No Child Left

Behind ( ďA Bush-style education school in Texas,Ē

November 3).

The criticisms of NCLBís testing policy are

well-known, but I wonder if SMU is aware of the

scientific evidence against the NCLB reading policy.

Included in this evidence is Prof. Elaine Garanís

work, which shows that the intensive systematic

phonics prescribed by NCLB produces positive results

only on tests in which children read lists of words

presented in isolation. Intensive phonics instruction

has an insignificant impact on tests of reading

comprehension given after grade 1.

In my publications, I present data showing that NCLB

severely undervalues the benefits of extensive

self-selected reading, prescribing more drills and

exercises rather than the wide reading that truly

builds literacy.

The excessive and inappropriate testing demanded by

NCLB is only part of the problem.

Stephen Krashen

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