Los Angeles Times, Feb. 16, 2022.
To the editor:
Letter writer Linda Mele Johnson (LA Times, Feb. 11) points out that “rich kids do better on the SAT than poor kids.” A major reason is that “rich kids” do more pleasure reading, because they have far more access to books at home and school.
Studies show that reading more for pleasure (including fiction) results in larger vocabularies, better spelling and better writing. In addition, those who read more know more about literature, history, science and even practical matters. Literacy scholar Jeff McQuillan has argued that pleasure reading is the best way to score well on the SAT, and it is far more effective, economical and pleasant than test prep. It also makes a strong contribution to school and life success. Along with Linda Mele Johnson, I am happy to see the demise of the SAT. Let’s focus instead on investing in libraries and making sure all young readers have plenty of access to books.
Rossier School of Education University of Southern California