Monday, November 26, 2012

In Case You Missed It!

New York Times Opinion Piece
Explores the Common Core Standards' Requirement to Increase
the Reading of Nonfiction

The Common Core State Standards are educational goals and expectations for students in grades K-12 that define specific knowledge and skills in English language arts and math necessary for students to be successful in college and careers. The standards are designed to ensure all students—no matter where they live—receive a high quality education. The standards for English Language Arts and Literacy provide an integrated model of literacy designed to prepare students to be college and career ready in reading, writing, speaking, and listening. 
Illustration by Miki Maciaszek (c) The New York Times

The Common Core English Language standards require a higher concentration of nonfiction reading than has previously been taught; the goal is for 70 percent of the high school senior's curriculum to be nonfiction works. Many educational professionals find the decreased emphasis on fiction to be controversial.

In the New York Times opinion piece titled "What Should Children Read?," Sara Mosle presents an  argument in favor of more nonfiction reading across the curriculum. Here is an excerpt:

In my experience, students need more exposure to nonfiction, less to help with reading skills, but as a model for their own essays and expository writing...

I love fiction and poetry as much as the next former English major and often despair over the quality of what passes for “informational texts,” few of which amount to narrative much less literary narrative.

What schools really need isn’t more nonfiction but better nonfiction, especially that which provides good models for student writing. Most students could use greater familiarity with what newspaper, magazine and book editors call “narrative nonfiction”: writing that tells a factual story, sometimes even a personal one, but also makes an argument and conveys information in vivid, effective ways.

To read the entire article, click here.