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[Susan notes: As usual, we can thank Stephen Krashen for actually looking at the numbers.]

Submitted to New York Times but not published

To the editor

The Times was cautious in its interpretation of the

Center for Education report on student achievement

(“New Study Finds Gains Since No Child Left Behind,”

June 6). In contrast, Education Secretary Spellings

announced that that the report confirms that NCLB has resulted in “remarkable gains.”

For elementary school (mostly grade 4), there was a

1.8 percent increase in the percentage of children

classified as proficient in reading. When we consider that Reading First, the reading component of NCLB, provides an extra 100 minutes per week of reading instruction, an extra semester every two years, that’s not much of a gain.

The Center was able to compare elementary reading

gains for the two years before and after NCLB in 12

states. Before NCLB, the rate of improvement in these 12 states was 1.65 percent. After NCLB, it was 1.94 percent. That’s no real difference at all. In fact, it is unremarkable.

Stephen Krashen

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