"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

That's where our money goes: Cuts in libraries in California, but no plans to reduce useless testing

Sent to the San Francisco Chronicle, Dec. 14

Gov. Brown plans to cut funding for public libraries, but has no plans to eliminate the High School Exit Exam ("Jerry Brown announces $1 billion in spending cuts,” Dec. 14). This is despite the fact that libraries contribute strongly to literacy development, despite the fact that use of public libraries has increased since the economic hard times began, and despite data showing that California’s public libraries are among the least well-funded in the nation.

Research also consistently shows that High School Exit Exams are a waste of money: Performance on exit exams does not relate to subsequent educational or job success.

Analyst Jo Anne Behm has estimated that the High School Exit Exam costs California about $500 million per year.

Gov. Brown plans to cut an important and useful item and keep a useless one. This doesn't make sense educationally or economically.

Stephen Krashen

Professor Emeritus

University of Southern California



Libraries and literacy development: Krashen, S. 2004. The Power of Reading. Westport: Libraries Unlimited; Portsmouth: Heinemann; Lance, K. C., and Marks, R.B. 2008. "The link between public libraries and early reading success." School Library Journal 54 (9): 44-7.

Public library use: http://www.ala.org/ala/professionalresources/libfactsheets/alalibraryfactsheet06.cfm

California’s public libraries: http://www.ccsu.edu/page.cfm?p=8140

Performance on exit exams does not relate to subsequent educational or job success. Holme, J., Richards, M., Jimerson, J., and Cohen, R. 2010. Assessing the effects of high school exit examinations. Review of Educational Research 80 (4): 476-526.

310 924 2490, Rossier School of Education, USC, Los Angeles 90089-0031

The cost of unnecessary testing in California: http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/living-in-dialogue/2011/04/test_expenditures_climb_in_cal.html

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