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Duncan's Equity Agenda

Stephen Krashen comment on "Duncan Outlines 'Equity' Agenda," Ed Week blog by Mark
(School Law)

The Duncan formula is this: Improve education with rigorous standards
and testing, and this will take care of poverty.

But high levels of poverty make educational achievement impossible:
The impact of hunger, toxic environments, lack of health care and lack
of reading material on school achievement is devastating.

When studies control for poverty, American children do very well on
international tests, indicating that there is nothing seriously wrong
with our educational system. Our scores are low only because we have
so many children living in poverty, and the highest of all
industrialized countries (22.5%, compared to Sweden's 2.5%).

Improving education is not the path to eliminating poverty.
Eliminating poverty is the path to better school achievement. All the
money going to new standards, new tests, and of course new textbooks,
should be spent on protecting children from the effects of poverty:
Proper nutrition (no child left unfed), health care, and access to

— Stephen Krashen
Education Week blog


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