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Viewers respond to report on mandated extra reading time at Florida grade schools

Viewers respond to a recent NewsHour Weekend signature piece examining Florida’s new law requiring low-performing elementary schools to provide an extra hour of reading every day. Hari Sreenivasan reads your comments.

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  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    And now to Viewers Like You, your feedback about some of our recent work.

    Many of you commented on Facebook about our piece examining Florida's new law requiring low-performing elementary schools to provide an extra hour of reading every day.

  • A common reaction:

    Parents need to do more to help kids read.

  • Patricia Marshall wrote:

    "I encourage people to read, read, read to their kids. Once a child learns to like reading, it becomes a lifelong companion. This should be the responsibility of parents and other relatives, including siblings."

    Sandra Miller added this: "Practice, practice, practice and it begins by reading to infants daily."

    Ed Weigandt was much more blunt about it: "How about parents actually do some parenting and stop using the television, Xbox or other electronic gadgets as a babysitter? Failure of our kids to learn on a global level should never be deemed the fault of the education system alone."

    As for the program itself…

  • Sonji Webb wrote:

    "Personally, Ithink kids have too much homework. I think their school days are too long as well. They need more kid and family time."

    A thought echoed by Awana Reese. "How about more recess? Kids need time to think, to play and to read."

    Helen Marie Brady Marshall said it made sense: "Only if the children are encouraged to read books on a subject that interests them."

    And Roberto Martinez added this: "Teachers need to engage in creating the desire to read, not giving extra reading assignments. Great storytelling always leaves listeners craving more."

    Finally, this from Ellen Lesse Gershenbaum: "As an inner city teacher, the answer is not extra reading time. 24 hours a day wouldn't make a difference! The answer lies in the education of parents so they know how to raise their kids! They are five years behind when they enter kindergarten, and that can never be made up."

    As always, you can let us know what you think of our stories, on Twitter, Facebook or at newshour.pbs.org.

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