Monday, April 01, 2013
Easier, more pleasant, less expensive path
SENT TO The State (South Carolina)
NOTE: This newspaper typically does not accept letters out-of-state. But I submitted it anyway.
NOTE: The State is running a poll: The question and the results:
Should South Carolina toughen standards that would hold back more third-graders not reading at grade level? 71% say yes, 29% say no.
An easier, more pleasant, less expensive path to high literacy
South Carolina is eager to require children to read “proficiently” by grade three. If they do not, they will be retained and given special remediation (“Education leaders: Florida holds key to SC literacy fix,” March 31).
Everything we know about literacy development says this is a bad idea, and that there is an easier, more pleasant, and far less expensive way to improve reading achievement.
First, studies show that there is nothing magic about third grade: Poor reading at any grade predicts poor reading later on.
Second, research shows that students of all ages can make remarkable progress if they develop a reading habit.
The real problem is that for many students, the only source of books is the library. Studies consistently show that better libraries, staffed with qualified librarians, are associated with higher reading scores.
We don’t need more testing and we don’t need intensive interventions. We need to improve our school libraries and support our librarians.
“Nothing magic ..”: Krashen, S. 2011. Need children read “proficiently” by grade 3? Language Magazine 11,2: 24-27. 2011
Students at all ages: Krashen, S. and McQuillan, J. 2007. Late intervention. Educational Leadership 65 (2): 68-73.
Better libraries ….: Krashen, S., Lee, SY., and McQuillan, J. 2012. Is the library important? Multivariate studies at the national and international level. Journal of Language and Literacy Education, 8(1): 26-36. Lance, Keith. The Impact of School Libraries on Student Achievement. http://www.lrs.org/impact.php
Original article: http://www.thestate.com/2013/03/31/2702500/education-leaders-florida-holds.html#storylink=cpy
at 3:21 PM