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[Susan notes: Kudos to Stephen Krashen for continuing to pound home the truth. It is critical that the journalists be informed of the facts. Over and over and over.]

Submitted to Washington Post but not published

To the editor

Contrary to the Postâs statement,National Association

of Educational Progress (NAEP) test scores did not

âbolster Bushâs caseâ for the reading component of No

Child Left Behind (NCLB) (âAn unlikely partnership

left behind,â November 5).

The gains in reading since NCLB took effect are

unimpressive: Since 2002, fourth grade reading scores

have increased two points, and eighth grade reading

scores have fallen one point. These are tiny

differences: In 2007 the top 10% of fourth graders

averaged 264 and the lowest 10% averaged 174, a

90-point spread.

The gap in reading between students from high and low

income families remains nearly the same, one point

less in grade 4, and two points less in grade 8.

Again, this isnât much of a difference: In 2003 high

and low income fourth graders were 30 points apart, in

2007 they were 29 points apart.

Students in Reading First, the reading component of

NCLB, get an extra 100 minutes per week of reading

instruction, about an extra semester every two years.

If Reading First were only mildly effective, there

would be obvious improvement, not just two points

after several years at one grade level and a drop of

one point in another.

Stephen Krashen

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