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[Susan notes: We can all be grateful that Stephen Krashen does not give up but continues to call the media to account on the facts, chiding them from republishing Administration PR claims.]

Submitted to Newsday but not published

To the editor

Newsday has republished Education Secretaryâs claims

that No Child Left Behind has worked (âTough standards

reap gains,â June 14). Readers should be aware that

not everyone agrees.

Spellings states that the recent Center on Education

policy report showed that âtest scores are up.â But

the important question is whether NCLB has made a

difference. The report compared elementary school

reading gains for the two years before and two years

after NCLB was implemented in 12 states. Before NCLB,

the yearly rate of improvement in these states was

1.93 percent. After NCLB, it was 2.25 percent, a

difference of less than one-third of one percent.

Thatâs not much, especially when we consider that

Reading First, the reading component of NCLB, imposes

an extra 100 minutes per week of reading instruction,

an extra semester every two years.

Spellings also claims that on national tests, âmore

reading progress was made by 9-year-olds from 1999 to

2004 than in the previous 28 years combined.â Several

published reports have shown, however, that the gains

came before NCLB and Reading First were implemented,

not after.

So far, neither state nor national tests have provided

any evidence that NCLB has improved reading

achievement, despite the billions of dollars spent and

enormous investment of time and effort.

pre/post NCLB gains for 12 states: data from table 9,

starting page 43, Center on Education Policy, 2007.

Answering the Question that Matters Most: Has Student

Achievement Increased Since No Child Left Behind?

Published reports analyzing national test scores:

1. âThe 16th Bracey Report on the Condition of Public

Education,â by Gerald W. Bracey, published in the

October 2006 Phi Delta Kappan.

2. âSelling NCLB: Would You Buy a Used Law From This

Woman?,â by James Crawford, available at


3. âIs the No Child Left Behind Act Working? The

Reliability of How States Track Achievement,â by Bruce

Fuller, Kathryn Gesicki, Erin Kang, and Joseph Wright,

published in 2006 by Policy Analysis for California

Education, at the University of California, Berkeley.

4. âDid Reading First Work?,â by Stephen Krashen,


5. âTracking Achievement Gaps and Assessing the Impact

of NCLB on the Gaps: An In-Depth Look Into National

and State Reading and Math Outcome Trends,â by

Jaekyung Lee, published in 2006 by the Civil Rights

Project at Harvard University.


Stephen Krashen

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