While Chicago still has 160 public schools without school libraries... Delightful Video features Stephen Krashen interview

Recently, a California State University (Dominguez Hills) television program featured Stephen Krashen, who has commented regularly at numerous sites, including The show, "People making a difference," lasted nearly a half hour, and includes many points that Substance readers will find useful (as well as humorous and interesting). "Our program is very simple: food, health care, and books..."

Chicago's struggle for school libraries continued at Whittier Elementary School during the opening weeks of school in September and October 2010. Above: As the sun rose on September 18, 2010, the people who had thwarted the Chicago Board of Education's attempts to clear the "Whittier Moms" and their allies out of La Casita began their day. For the next month, round the clock, teachers, parents, students and their allies conducted a sit-in at Whittier Elementary School's "La Casita" (the "Little House") demanding that it be converted into a library, which the school did not have. The day before (see next photo), the Board of Education tried to have the protesters arrested, but failed. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt."How do we pay for this? Cut back on testing. The federal government is now unleashing the most brutal testing program ever seen on the planet... In the 'Blueprint' Arne Duncan and his gang are proposing testing in other subjects..." says Krashen.

The URL for those who can't access the above hotlink is:

On September 17, 2010, Chicago Public Schools "Chief Security Officer" Michael Shields was trying to order Chicago police to arrest the people conducting the sit-in demanding a library for Whittier Elementary School on Chicago's southwest side. Above, Shields was confronted by several of the "Whittier Moms" during a tense standoff, while more than a half dozen Chicago police and CPS security protect him. Shields got his $150,000 per year job, according to sources, because of his relationship to the Obama family. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt. Krashen covers so many topics it is not possible to list them all in a short article. Any reader who has the time can learn a great deal by watching (and sharing) this video. Krashen has a great deal of information on the latest being proposed by Arne Duncan. "That means we test everything all the time..." Krashen says.

Four factors that Stephen Krashen cites from a recent study (based on international data) that influence reading are:


By October 5, 2010, more than 500 books and other children's literature materials had been donated to the budding library inside "La Casita," while CPS officials claimed that the city had not money to provide libraries to the children in the 160 Chicago public elementary schools that didn't have them. Despite eight years of corporate "school reform" under now U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan (who was "Chief Executive Officer" of CPS from July 2001 until he was appointed by Barack Obama to the cabinet post in January 2009), Chicago had failed to provide even basic library services for hundreds of thousands of the poorest children in the public schools of the city's vast African American ghettos and Latino barrios. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt. Percentage of children allowed to do free reading in schools

Libraries (the presence of a school library larger than 500 books)

Research conducted or collated by Stephen Krasen (and available on his website as sdkrashen,com) has regularly refuted the claims by corporate school reformers and the U.S. Department of Education regarding what will provide the resources necessary for poor children in the USA to improve their reading. Access to books in the home


March 16, 2011 at 4:45 PM

By: Sharon Schmidt

Krashen, Ohanian keep us sane

So glad to have the video.

And, I'm so glad that Stephen Krashen and Susan Ohanian will be in Chicago in November for the NCTE convention.

You two keep me sane, especially throughout that crazy National Reading Panal-driven master's degree course work I had to endure.

March 16, 2011 at 6:48 PM

By: Erin Jameson

Krashen is the voice of reason

Obama and Duncan need to read Krashen's research. Krashen connects the dots regarding what children need to learn. Addressing poverty is his top concern. Ravitch and Krashen should put their heads together and meet with Obama and Duncan to give them much needed direction regarding education.

March 18, 2011 at 11:34 AM

By: The Retired Principal (RP)

Whittier Library

Where are they on building a library at Whittier?

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