Orwell Award Announcement SusanOhanian.Org Home

[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

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


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

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of education issues vital to a democracy. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information click here. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.