Education Week has an article by Catherine Gewertz saying that defenders of the Common Core are out in full force to quell the uproar about whether CC will mean less fiction.
It is interesting that the two loudest voices defending CC are Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Educational Excellence and the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, both quite conservative groups.
The way the issue is framed unfortunately misses the point, at least the point that I and others have raised.
Why do the CC standards mandate a proportionate split between fiction and non-fiction?
Who thought it was necessary to turn NAEP’s instruction to test developers into a mandate for teachers?
Who will police the implementation of the arbitrary ratios of 50-50 or 70-30?
If the ratios apply to all courses, can’t we assume that students will read “informational text” in math, science, civics, history, and other subjects, leaving teachers of English language arts to assign as much fiction or non-fiction as they want?
In the interests of clarity, here’s what I want: the ratios should be eliminated. They are an overreach. They have no basis in research or experience. There is no justification for imposing them.
I urge this not as a partisan of fiction or non-fiction, but as a partisan of common sense.