Become a digitalPLUS subscriber. 99¢ for 4 weeks.
NewsOpinionReaders Respond

Invest in libraries, not a longer school day

Libraries

Three schools in Baltimore are lengthening the school day based on the "success" of an expanded instruction program in New York ("Three city schools to extend day by three hours," Jan 1).

What success? According to The Sun, New York's overtime students gained 2.2 percentage points in English Language Arts in three years, more than the city average of 1.5 points.

Please do the math. That's a .7 percentage point difference over three years, about one quarter of a percentage point each year.

We can get much bigger gains with a lot less work, with an approach that children will like a lot better than staying in school longer: Invest in libraries and librarians. Studies show that children who do not do well on reading tests often have little access to books, and studies also show that increasing access to books through libraries increases reading as well as reading achievement.

Just reading one extra book for pleasure each year will produce a larger gain in Language Arts than overtime schooling.

Stephen Krashen, Los Angeles

The writer is professor emeritus at the University of Southern California.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
Libraries
  • O'Malley's new phosphorous rules are key to a clean bay

    Gov. Martin O'Malley's proposed rules to limit pollution from manure are good for everyone who wants clean water ("Phosphorus rules, finally," Nov. 18). Experts say the phosphorus management tool is one of the biggest opportunities to clean up the Chesapeake Bay and local waters in more than 30...

  • Obama lies again and again
    Obama lies again and again

    Here we go again. Lies, lies and more lies from President Barack Obama. The list includes but is not limited to: Fast and Furious, Benghazi, the IRS corruption, the VA scandal and the Affordable Care Act also called Obamacare.

  • Health exchange officials must work to improve the quality of care
    Health exchange officials must work to improve the quality of care

    The National Alliance on Mental Illness applauds the Easter Seals' recent article encouraging lawmakers to improve health insurance plan benefits for millions of Americans ("Getting what you pay for in the ACA," Nov. 15).

  • The politics of test scores
    The politics of test scores

    As an educator, I wholeheartedly agree that we are testing too much ("Debate rages over how many hours Maryland students should be tested each year," Nov. 15).

  • No statehood for murderers
    No statehood for murderers

    The cold-blooded and planned murder of four rabbis, three American and one British, in West Jerusalem by Palestinian Arabs was celebrated both in Gaza and the West Bank ("Tragedy in Jerusalem," Nov. 19). This demonstrates that there can be no permanent nor true peace between Israelis and...

  • Flawed headline lets Jerusalem killers off the hook
    Flawed headline lets Jerusalem killers off the hook

    Your front-page article about the attack on a Jerusalem synagogue by Palestinian militants was reasonably well balanced except for the headline ("Jerusalem synagogue attack leaves four rabbis dead," Nov. 18).

Comments
Loading