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

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

A longer school day or invest in libraries?

Sent to Education Week, July 7, 2015
Bolgen Vargas & Sandra A. Parker ("Lessons From a Longer School Day (and Year)," July 7) argue that a longer school day will better prepare students for high tech jobs and prevent summer loss.
Summer loss is mostly concentrated in students living in poverty. Studies going back to 1975 consistently show that the major cause of summer loss in literacy among students living in poverty is a lack of access to reading material. 

The most obvious solution is to invest in public libraries filled with books and other kinds of material that students will read, as well as librarians who will help young readers find what is right for them.
We are living in a golden age of literature for young people. Let’s take advantage of it.

Stephen Krashen
Professor Emeritus
University of Southern California

Poverty and access to books: Neuman, S. and Celino, D. 2001. Access to print in low-income and middle-income communities. Reading Research Quarterly 36(1): 8-26.
Summer loss and poverty, more reading and gains:
Allington, R. and McGill-Franzen, A. 2012. Summer Reading: Closing the Rich/Poor Reading Achievement Gap. New York: Teachers College Press.
Heyns, Barbara. 1975.  Summer Learning and the Effect of School. New York: Academic Press.
Kim, Jimmy. 2003. Summer reading and the ethnic achievement gap, Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk 9, no. 2:169-188.
Shin, Fay. and Krashen, Stephen. 2007. Summer Reading: Program and Evidence. New York: Allyn and Bacon. (Available for free download at www.sdkrashen.com).

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous10:51 PM

    My school in Newark is closing the library and has a longer day.

    Abigail Shure