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[Susan notes: We owe many thanks to Stephen Krashen for providing the facts.]

Submitted to Washington Post but not published

To the editor

Ed Sec Spellings’ claims that NCLB “is making a difference” in the early grades because more reading progress has been made in the last five years than in the previous three decades (“States have more schools falling behind,” March 29).

This claim is misleading and incorrect. The big improvement in the last five years came before NCLB came into effect, from 1999 to 2002, a seven point jump. NCLB was introduced in 2002-2003. Since 2002, there has been no movement in fourth grade NAEP scores, and no reduction of the gap between children of poverty and children not in poverty.

1999 = 212

2000 = 213

2002 = 219

2003 = 218

2005 = 219

Stephen Krashen

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