Opinion piece in the NYT: What Should Children Read?

Opinion piece in the NYT: What Should Children Read?

Excerpt: For example, the Common Core dictates that by fourth grade, public school students devote half of their reading time in class to historical documents, scientific tracts, maps and other “informational texts” — like recipes and train schedules. Per the guidelines, 70 percent of the 12th grade curriculum will consist of nonfiction titles. Alarmed English teachers worry we’re about to toss Shakespeare so students can study, in the words of one former educator, “memos, technical manuals and menus.”

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Feds

Do you see the problems when the feds keep trying to infuse themselves into education. Education is a priority so politicians keep talking education and people ask politicians what they are going to do about education. But at the federal level there is very little that the feds can do constructively.

We had "no child left behind" and now we have "Race to the top" which will also be a disaster when the feds come up with new crazy rules to apply to our schools.

Bumper stickers on your cars say "Buy Local"
Why are we not local for our schools?

Local

>>Bumper stickers on your cars say "Buy Local"
Why are we not local for our schools?

Of course the ideas in our schools need to be more than local. And the market for teachers can be a national market. I just think that the decisions on how to run a school should be made by the community. Having the feds involved seems to be a good way to have dumb policies and waste money. We are in a world with limited resources. Why waste money with poorly implemented federal government education ideas?

Because you don't live in a

Because you don't live in a purely local world? You can't apply one areas ideals when students could end up anywhere else in the country or abroad. You can help local like with shopping but you can't have it on it's own.

Because local to one place is another places mad crazy religious nut world or free-wheeling liberal conspiracy?
You need to have some level of conformity to be able to assess abilities and changes country-wide as well.

But I know what you mean.
Problem is it needs commitment, money and enforcement on a sensible basis, and that's where anyones ideals fall down. People don't always fit into the same slots.

And I like this

'“It is rare in a working environment,” he’s argued, “that someone says, ‘Johnson, I need a market analysis by Friday but before that I need a compelling account of your childhood.’ ”

Also, I live in the UK and have never required a knowledge of Shakespeare that I didn't get from my own personal reading, tv and movies. School isn't the only place you learn after all.

It's about READING!

Call me old fashioned, but I think the idea is to get kids to ENJOY reading by 4th grade. If they don't, then they'll certainly never read those pesky (and, yes, probably BORING) "...historical documents, scientific tracts, maps and other “informational texts” — like recipes and train schedules." Make a kid a reader FIRST and THEN start shoveling the data and other non-fictional stuff at him/her.

Maps boring? Pictures of

Maps boring? Pictures of dinosaurs and photos of national parks boring? Getting your kids to help out with baking boring? Looking at all the place names on timetables and seeing where they are boring?
Sounds like someone didn't have supportive parents ;)

One of the tricks of giving kids non traditional 'books' or materials is that they get interested in things without realising they ARE reading.

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