In an earlier post, I complained about the arbitrary ratios embedded in the Common CoreStandards for fiction and “informational text.” I asked who would police whether Mr. Smith and Ms. Jones was teaching too much or too little fiction.

Please read this exchange.

A reader commented as follows:

“You ask at the end of your post – “Whose wisdom decided on 50-50 and 70-30? Who will police the classrooms? Where is the evidence that these ratios are better than some other ratio or none at all?”

“If you read the ELA CC Standards in the introduction it clearly states the source which is:
Source: National Assessment Governing Board. (2008). Reading framework for the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

“Here is the link to the Reading Framework from the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress

Click to access reading09.pdf

“When you read this – you will notice the variety and depth of the educators that worked on this assessment and document.

“So Yes, Virginia – there is a place where the numbers come from:)”

I replied to this comment as follows:

“I was on the board of NAEP for seven years. Those proportions were created as a guideline for publishers constructing assessments, not for teachers.

“There is no valid reason in the wold to tell teachers that they must tailor what they teach to match a completely arbitrary ratio inserted into NAEP, with zero scientific validation, years ago.

“If kids are reading “informational text” in science, history, math, civics, and other subjects, their English teachers should be free to teach whatever they love, whether it is fiction or non-fiction.

“The ratios are nonsense. Utter and complete nonsense.

“I repeat: what administrator will have the stopwatch to police this travesty in all the classrooms?
What brave soul will call it what it is: nonsense.”