Tuesday, May 07, 2013


ALL READERS AT RISK: California near bottom of U.S. in school library quality and dead last in the school librarians per student

Letters to the LA Times | http://lat.ms/ZEosob

Re "Lawsuit: State fails some English learners," April 25 / 4LAKids -  CALIFORNIA SUED ON BEHALF OF FAILING ENGLISH LEARNERS

April 30, 2013  ::  The article does not mention two approaches to help those acquiring English, both with substantial research support.

One is bilingual education, dismantled by Proposition 227 more than a decade ago. Research has shown that students in bilingual programs outperform students in all-English programs on tests of English reading. Also, studies show that Proposition 227 did not result in improved English proficiency.

Second, there is strong evidence that those who do more pleasure reading in English do better on English-language tests, and case histories reveal that those who succeeded in acquiring the English needed for school were dedicated readers. California English learners, however, have a hard time finding books: California ranks near the bottom of the country in school library quality and is dead last in the ratio of school librarians per student.

Lawsuits should include restoring bilingual education and investing more in libraries and librarians.

Stephen Krashen

Los Angeles

  • The writer is a professor emeritus of education at USC.

2cents smf:  I agree with Dr. Krashen 1000% – except that change/improvement/reform of public education should not rely on lawsuits any more than it should rely upon billionaire philanthropists, labor leaders or cranky bloggers.

Where is the legislative and school district leadership? 

  • If the answer is “in the pocket of billionaire philanthropists and  labor leaders” we need to send them into the ranks of the unemployed and/or incarcerated.
  • If the answer is “in the pocket of cranky bloggers”, there is psychiatric help for that!

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