Test the Homeless
Posted as a comment on The Answer Sheet, 9/25/11
how about a little funding for adult literacy and GED programs in poor areas. kids who's parents are avid readers are far better readers than children of illiterates. family literacy programs are carrying a pretty good success rate as they teach young children and parents at the same time. the seriously at risk groups of children come from homes where reading and education in general, are not valued. and then there is the group that is homeless - our nation's biggest shame - but that a comment on an article no one wants to write about
Comment by S. Krashen:
More funding for adult literacy and GED programs in high poverty areas? Absolutely. A big part of this should be increased funding for public libraries in high poverty areas. "Seriously at-risk" children are often those who have little access to books. Providing books has a very strong impact on language development, as demonstrated by the success of Reach Out and Read.
I think this administration would be more enthusiastic, however, for funding a massive testing program that would test adults in high poverty areas beginning with the homeless rather than provide them with classes and more support for libraries, in agreement with feds' desire to weight the animal rather than feed it: TEST THE HOMELESS! In fact, the feds would probably like to test every adult suspected of low literacy. In fact, how about testing everyone in the country? Think of the huge amounts of taxpayer money that would be spent, all going directly to Pearson and McGraw Hill. When this program fails to increase adult literacy, as measured by tests, the response will be to do it more.
Of course the first step will be to set common core standards for adult literacy (and math skills etc) for the entire lifespan.