Thursday, September 8, 2016

SKrashen: I do not support H.R. 4481, The "Education for All Act."

SKrashen: I do not support H.R. 4481, The "Education for All Act.":

I do not support H.R. 4481, The "Education for All Act."

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Stephen Krashen    September, 2016

H.R. 4481, the "Education for All Act" has been introduced in the US House of Representatives. The description:  "To amend the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to provide assistance for developing countries to promote quality basic education and to establish the goal of all children in school and learning as an objective of the United States foreign assistance policy, and for other purposes."

Despite 4481's noble goals, I do not support it: 4481 appears to be supporting an approach for other countries that has not worked in the US. 

The Premise

HR 4481 assumes education is the driving force behind economic growth, reduction of poverty and inequality.  There is another point of view, clearly expressed by Martin Luther King (1967): "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."

The causality is not "improve education and it will reduce poverty and improve the economy," but rather "reduce poverty, and this will result in improved educational achievement."

There is strong evidence that Dr. King was right. Research done with countries, states, and individuals consistently shows that high levels of poverty are associated with low school achievement. There are good reasons for this: Among other things, poverty means food deprivation, lack of health care and lack of access to books, all of which have devastating
SKrashen: I do not support H.R. 4481, The "Education for All Act.": 

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