A war of words is brewing. But this one doesn’t involve slinging insults. It’s a battle over what forms of writing — novels, poems, and non-fiction — will define English instruction for millions of American schoolchildren in the years to come.
Sparking this war is the Common Core standards push — an effort to nationalize the standards and assessments upon which every public school in America would base its curriculum. The Obama administration has poured billions of dollars into the effort via federal “Race to the Top” grants.
As always when it comes to federal largesse, there are strings attached. And in this case, it’s pulling the rug out from under classic literature.
Literacy experts point out that The Common Core denigrates the value of teaching literature in the classroom. Instead, English teachers are being told that 50 percent of their course material must be derived from “informational texts.” (Actually, the informational text requirement starts at a “mere” 25 percent of reading material for kindergarteners. It rises to 70 percent for high school seniors.)
[Read the rest of the article at Fox News.]