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Stephen Krashen

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OPINION
October 19, 2003
Re "Santa Ana Limiting Bilingual Education," Oct. 6: Supporters of Santa Ana Unified School District's decision to limit bilingual waivers think that dismantling bilingual education was a good idea. It wasn't. A study published by the nonprofit research firm West Ed last year confirmed that dumping bilingual education did not increase English proficiency among minority-language children in California. Also, nearly every major review of research in bilingual education concludes that students in bilingual programs acquire English as well as or better than similar students in non-bilingual programs.
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OPINION
February 10, 2013
Re "Beware of miracles," Editorial, Feb. 6 I was delighted to see The Times recommend healthy skepticism before adopting the latest "solutions" to educational problems. And yes, I clearly remember my colleagues' "value-added" ratings splashed across your website, even though there were plenty of cautionary articles elsewhere calling their use problematic. The Los Angeles Unified School District seems to think that having students take standardized tests is an answer to our achievement problems, even though most teachers feel their curriculum has been weakened by the loss of instructional time.
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OPINION
September 23, 2004
The Times notes that "without parents who read to them, help with homework and communicate with teachers, children have little chance of succeeding in school" ("Reading Gets the Job Done," editorial, Sept. 21). This may be true; study after study has shown that children of parents with more education do better in school. But this is unfair: It should be possible to succeed in school without parental help. It is fine to improve parent education, but it should not be the case that only the children of the well-educated do well in school.
OPINION
March 2, 2008
Re "Big Read, big waste," Opinion, Feb. 25 Jim Henley is right about the National Endowment of the Arts' Big Read plan to encourage reading: Its elitist approach is like trying to deal with hunger with wine-tasting parties. Also, it is not clear that we are reading less. Studies show that in 1945, only 21% said they read something yesterday. In 1991, it was 31%, and in 2006, 38%, suggesting an increase in reading. Test scores show that reading ability has not declined. Fourth- and eighth-grade reading scores have not decreased since 1984.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 21, 1999
Thomas Ecker (letter, Dec. 17) believes that the "educational elite" have given us failed programs. Among the "failed programs" mentioned are bilingual education and reading programs that do not provide early instruction in phonics. Scientific studies show, however, that the "failed programs" Ecker mentions did not fail at all. Children in properly organized bilingual programs acquire English very well, at least as well and usually better than children in all-English programs. Also, California's reading problems have nothing to do with a reluctance to teach phonics: We have the worst school libraries in the U.S., and our public libraries are among the worst.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 13, 2000
Re "English Immersion and Proficiency," Ventura County Letters, Aug. 6. Amy Allison's response to Denis O'Leary's letter is full of distortions. It gives Proposition 227 the credit for the overall state of California's increase on the SAT 9 test, repeats the falsehood that bilingual education only gives students one hour of English per day and claims that after five years students in bilingual education are not proficient. Here are the facts: The overall state SAT 9 gain in English reading is nearly entirely attributable to test inflation that one always sees with standardized tests.
OPINION
April 4, 2002
"School Excels in Reading by Sticking With What Works" (April 1) mischaracterizes the whole-language approach to teaching reading. Whole language does not simply "encourage children to intuit the nuts and bolts of how words worked"; rather, whole language is based on the well-supported hypothesis that we learn to read when we understand what is on the page. A central task of a whole-language teacher is to provide children with interesting texts and to help make these texts comprehensible.
OPINION
February 10, 2013
Re "Beware of miracles," Editorial, Feb. 6 I was delighted to see The Times recommend healthy skepticism before adopting the latest "solutions" to educational problems. And yes, I clearly remember my colleagues' "value-added" ratings splashed across your website, even though there were plenty of cautionary articles elsewhere calling their use problematic. The Los Angeles Unified School District seems to think that having students take standardized tests is an answer to our achievement problems, even though most teachers feel their curriculum has been weakened by the loss of instructional time.
OPINION
March 2, 2008
Re "Big Read, big waste," Opinion, Feb. 25 Jim Henley is right about the National Endowment of the Arts' Big Read plan to encourage reading: Its elitist approach is like trying to deal with hunger with wine-tasting parties. Also, it is not clear that we are reading less. Studies show that in 1945, only 21% said they read something yesterday. In 1991, it was 31%, and in 2006, 38%, suggesting an increase in reading. Test scores show that reading ability has not declined. Fourth- and eighth-grade reading scores have not decreased since 1984.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 26, 1998
Were there really "benefits in English immersion" as reported April 18? We are told only that "almost a quarter" of the limited English proficient children in Orange improved their oral fluency by "at least one level" after five months. What happened to the other three-quarters? What does one level mean? On most measures of oral fluency, there are five levels, and level 4 is considered good enough to function in English in a mainstream class. If this kind of measure was used, it means that these children made very little progress, and would be nowhere near ready for the mainstream after one year, the limit imposed by Proposition 227. STEPHEN KRASHEN Professor of Education USC As the English department chair at Orangeview Junior High School in Anaheim, I am extremely concerned about the disastrous implications of Proposition 227, the "English only" initiative.
OPINION
September 23, 2004
The Times notes that "without parents who read to them, help with homework and communicate with teachers, children have little chance of succeeding in school" ("Reading Gets the Job Done," editorial, Sept. 21). This may be true; study after study has shown that children of parents with more education do better in school. But this is unfair: It should be possible to succeed in school without parental help. It is fine to improve parent education, but it should not be the case that only the children of the well-educated do well in school.
OPINION
October 19, 2003
Re "Santa Ana Limiting Bilingual Education," Oct. 6: Supporters of Santa Ana Unified School District's decision to limit bilingual waivers think that dismantling bilingual education was a good idea. It wasn't. A study published by the nonprofit research firm West Ed last year confirmed that dumping bilingual education did not increase English proficiency among minority-language children in California. Also, nearly every major review of research in bilingual education concludes that students in bilingual programs acquire English as well as or better than similar students in non-bilingual programs.
OPINION
April 4, 2002
"School Excels in Reading by Sticking With What Works" (April 1) mischaracterizes the whole-language approach to teaching reading. Whole language does not simply "encourage children to intuit the nuts and bolts of how words worked"; rather, whole language is based on the well-supported hypothesis that we learn to read when we understand what is on the page. A central task of a whole-language teacher is to provide children with interesting texts and to help make these texts comprehensible.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 13, 2000
Re "English Immersion and Proficiency," Ventura County Letters, Aug. 6. Amy Allison's response to Denis O'Leary's letter is full of distortions. It gives Proposition 227 the credit for the overall state of California's increase on the SAT 9 test, repeats the falsehood that bilingual education only gives students one hour of English per day and claims that after five years students in bilingual education are not proficient. Here are the facts: The overall state SAT 9 gain in English reading is nearly entirely attributable to test inflation that one always sees with standardized tests.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 21, 1999
Thomas Ecker (letter, Dec. 17) believes that the "educational elite" have given us failed programs. Among the "failed programs" mentioned are bilingual education and reading programs that do not provide early instruction in phonics. Scientific studies show, however, that the "failed programs" Ecker mentions did not fail at all. Children in properly organized bilingual programs acquire English very well, at least as well and usually better than children in all-English programs. Also, California's reading problems have nothing to do with a reluctance to teach phonics: We have the worst school libraries in the U.S., and our public libraries are among the worst.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 26, 1998
Were there really "benefits in English immersion" as reported April 18? We are told only that "almost a quarter" of the limited English proficient children in Orange improved their oral fluency by "at least one level" after five months. What happened to the other three-quarters? What does one level mean? On most measures of oral fluency, there are five levels, and level 4 is considered good enough to function in English in a mainstream class. If this kind of measure was used, it means that these children made very little progress, and would be nowhere near ready for the mainstream after one year, the limit imposed by Proposition 227. STEPHEN KRASHEN Professor of Education USC As the English department chair at Orangeview Junior High School in Anaheim, I am extremely concerned about the disastrous implications of Proposition 227, the "English only" initiative.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 2, 1998 | CHRIS CHI
Cal Lutheran University will host a debate Monday on Proposition 227, the June ballot initiative seeking to end bilingual education in favor of English-language immersion in California. Simi Valley resident Steve Frank, a government affairs consultant, will speak in favor of the initiative. Stephen Krashen, a USC professor who has studied language development, will advocate continuing bilingual education. The debate is scheduled from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
OPINION
October 20, 2002
Re "Bilingual Education Gets an F (for Farce) Grade," Letters, Oct. 13: Mary Margaret Silva claims that bilingual education has produced "mostly all negative results." The scientific research says otherwise. Nearly every scholar who has reviewed the published research has concluded that bilingual education works. Children in bilingual programs acquire at least as much English as children in all-English immersion programs and usually acquire more. The most recent review of this research, by Jay Greene of the Manhattan Institute, found that use of the native language has positive effects and that "efforts to eliminate the use of the native language in instruction ... harm children by denying them access to beneficial approaches."
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