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Anti-testing Letters

[Susan notes: The media continues to print claims not backed up by recess. Stephen Krashen continues to provide the research. Join him in the fight to support libraries and librarians.]

To the editor

From Stephen Krashen, professor emeritus, USC

Submitted to The Daily Breeze, Torrance, CA but not published (11/25/2012)


Most of the proposals to deal with long-term English learners ("California's English language learners getting stuck in schools' remedial programs," November 25) focus on tracking and measurement. None discuss a cure.

Our research shows that students who develop a pleasure reading habit in English do better on English language tests, and a number of case histories confirm that those who successfully acquire "academic English" were dedicated readers.

California makes this very difficult to happen. Many English learners come from low-income families, which means their primary source of books is the library. California has consistently ranked among the worst in the country in support for school libraries and librarians, and California cities rank near the bottom in support of public libraries.

Instead of dedicating our limited funds to better measurement, we might consider investing in better support of libraries and librarians. Let’s feed the animal and not just weigh it.

Stephen Krashen is the author of The Power of Reading (Heinemann and Libraries Unlimited, 2004, second edition).

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