Monday, December 5, 2016

"Failing" schools, poverty and libraries

S.Krashen: www.; twitter = skrashen;
Presentation at Budget, Facilities and Audit Committee, Board of Education, LAUSD 
December 6, 2016

"Failing" schools, poverty, and libraries: "We are likely to find that the problems of housing and education, instead of preceding the elimination of poverty, will themselves be affected if poverty is first abolished.” (Martin Luther King, 1967) Why Dr. King was right:
1. Evidence for failure? Scores on international tests.
But: Raw scores not horrible – when poverty controlled statistically, US scores near top of the world.
Payne, K. and Biddle, B. 1999. Poor school funding, child poverty, and mathematics achievement. Educational Researcher 28 (6): 4-13;Berliner, D. 2011. The Context for Interpreting PISA Results in the USA: Negativism, Chauvinism, Misunderstanding, and the Potential to Distort the Educational Systems of Nations. In Pereyra, M., Kottoff, H-G., & Cowan, R. (Eds.). PISA under examination: Changing knowledge, changing tests, and changingschools. Amsterdam: Sense Publishers. Tienken, C. 2010. Common core state standards: I wonder? Kappa Delta Phi Record 47 (1): 14-17. Carnoy, M and Rothstein, R. 2013, What Do International Tests Really Show Us about U.S. Student Performance. Washington DC: Economic Policy Institute. 2012.
2. The US has a very high percentage of children living in poverty: 21%. Highest of all industrialized countries.  UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre 2012, ‘Measuring Child Poverty: New league tables of child poverty in the world’s rich countries’, Innocenti Report Card 10, UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre, Florence. Inner city (LAUSD) = 80% Finland = 4%.
- The problem is poverty. NOT: teaching, schools of ed, unions, parents, lack of national standards/tests
3. Devastating effects of poverty on school achievement (Berliner, 2009)
a. Food deprivation/nutrition

b. Lack of health care (eg school nurses in high and low poverty schools)
c. Lack of access to books (1) home; (2)  school: classroom libraries, school libraries; (3)  community: public libraries, bookstores
Beverly Hills/Watts study: (Smith, Constantino & Krashen)
Available books in the home: BH = 200; Watts = .4; Classroom libraries: BH = 400; Watts = 5 Philadelphia study (Neuman & Celano): middle-class children "deluged" with books, high poverty have difficulty getting any access

Part of the cure: libraries and librarians.

THE PIRLS Study: 4th graders in 40 countries, tested in their own language
Krashen, Lee and McQuillan (2012)
Multiple Regression Analysis: predictors of achievement PIRLS 2006 reading test
independent reading
library: 500 books
r2 = .61

Children of poverty: Library is their only source of books.
Better access to public libraries > more recreational reading
Children get many of their books for recreational reading from libraries.
Children who live in low-income neighborhoods have fewer books at home, less access to books at school, access to fewer libraries that have what they want to read.
Libraries don’t always have what children like to read; children from high-income families can find these books elsewhere but children of poverty cannot.
Impact of school librarian: Kachel and Lance,

Los Angeles: 68th in the US out of 77 cities in library quality (America's Most Literate Cities, 2014). CA captures 7 of bottom ten places.
Rankings are based on
1. Number of branch libraries per 10,000 library service population
2. Volumes held in the library per capita of library service population
3. Number of circulations per capita of library service population
4. Number of library professional staff per 10,000 library service population
5. Number of media specialists per 10,000 students service population
"These numbers were then divided by the city population in order to calculate ratios of library services and resources available to the population."
School libraries: LAUSD ratio of librarians to students: 1 to 7000; US 1 to 1000

The power of reading:  Self-selected reading > the source of our reading ability, writing ability (writing style), vocabulary, spelling, grammar).

Sustained silent reading
The Fiji Island study (RRQ, 1983): Elley & Mangubhai: gains in RC
Big Books
year 2: larger differences, readers better in writing, listening and grammar

Case histories: Elizabeth Murray (Breaking Night) & her dad's unusual habit
Multivariate studies: Beniko Mason: 1.0 = .6

Source of knowledge: literature, history, science, practical matters (Stanovich)
Simonton (1988) "omnivorous reading in childhood and adolescence correlates positively with ultimate adult success" (p. 11). 
> career path: Michael Faraday, Thomas Edison, Abraham Lincoln

ELLs: problem is academic language/poverty/access to books
Dedicated readers – never long term ELL (prediction), prepared for more "academic" reading

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