Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Performance Gap

Published in the Los Angeles Daily News. December 10, 2015

The gap between test scores of students living in poverty and those from higher-income families remains with us ("Good, bad, expected news in latest school test scores," Nov. 27).
We know why. Children of poverty suffer from food deprivation and have inferior health care: both of these have a devastating effect on school performance. We also know that developing high levels of literacy requires a great deal of self-selected reading of interest to the students: Children of poverty have little access to books at home, in school and in their neighborhoods. The best teaching in the world will not help if children are hungry, ill, and have nothing to read.
What should be done? The obvious first step is to protect children from the effects of poverty: Let's spend less on standardized tests, eliminating those not demonstrated to improve learning, and invest more in school food programs, health care, and in libraries and librarians.

Stephen Krashen
Professor Emeritus
University of Southern California

original article:

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