Two Letters sent to the Orange County Register, Feb 24, in response to “O.C. education chief: students need more school,” Feb. 23. (Richard Moore, Stephen Krashen0
We are on the brink of bankruptcy... and he wants a longer school year?
We have the highest poverty rate among industrialized countries, a more powerful predictor of academic success than any other... and it never comes up?
We have only 75 schools out of 600 in OC with fully functioning/staffed libraries... and we are surprised by low reading scores?
He holds his "summit" at a time when teachers are teaching... so he won't get laughed out of the room.
Don’t lengthen school year; protect students from impact of poverty
The proposal to lengthen the school year ( “O.C. education chief: students need more school,” Feb. 23) is intended to help the US “compete with countries like Japan, Korea and China.” In terms of educational achievement, only one factor is preventing us from doing this, and it is not the length of our school year. The crucial factor is poverty.
Studies show that American students from well-funded schools who come from middle-class families outscore students in nearly all other countries on international tests. Our average scores are less than spectacular because the US has the highest percentage of children in poverty of all industrialized countries (over 21%; in contrast, high-scoring Finland has less than 4%).
Poverty means inadequate nutrition, inadequate health care, exposure to environmental toxins, and little access to books, all of which are strongly associated with lower school performance. If all of our children had the same advantages middle class children have, our test scores would be at the top of the world.