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[Susan notes: Thank you, Stephen Krashen.



Of course billionaires like Broad and Gates spend money not to help children but only to serve their own agendas. This is why the poor will get longer school days and a nationalized curriculum--instead of books.]

Submitted to New York Times but not published
04/25/2007

To the editor



The billionaires (Ă¢€œBillionaires Start $60 Million

Schools Effort, April 25) are pushing worthless

solutions (longer school day, merit pay, national

tests) for a non-existent crisis, while ignoring the

real problem in education: Children of poverty, always

those with the lowest test scores, lack the resources

children from high income families have.



Research tells us that the amount of reading children

do is a strong and consistent predictor of how well

they do on tests of reading and writing; more access

to books means more reading and more reading means

better reading, spelling, vocabulary, grammar, and

writing.



Children of poverty live in neighborhoods where they

have little to read at home, typically attend schools

with inferior school libraries, and live in

communities with inferior public libraries.



The money the billionaires plan to spend on campaign

ads would make a big difference in strengthening

school and public libraries in high poverty areas.

Stephen Krashen


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