"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

. . .a pupil attitude factor, which appears to have a stronger relationship to achievement than do all the “school” factors together, is the extent to which an individual feels that he has some control over his own destiny. James Coleman, 1966

Monday, March 12, 2012

A more accurate headline: Little evidence that nonfiction curriculum enhances reading skills

A more accurate headline: Little evidence that nonfiction curriculum enhances reading skills
Sent to the New York Times, March 12

The headline “Nonfiction curriculum enhanced reading skills” (March 11) is contradicted by information provided in the article: Children in grades K through three in New York City who read nonfiction did better than those in comparison classes only on a “brief reading test,” and differences between the groups were smallest in grade three, the highest grade tested. We are also told that on a standardized test of reading, there was no difference between the groups in oral reading comprehension and vocabulary.

The headline should have said “Little evidence that nonfiction curriculum enhances reading skills.”

Stephen Krashen

original article: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/12/nyregion/nonfiction-curriculum-enhanced-reading-skills-in-new-york-city-schools.html?_r=1


  1. Do me a favor and check out my blog sometime; I'm adamantly opposed to standardized testing, a 33-year veteran (equal to 11 Rhees??), now retired.


  2. Amanda Cox9:50 PM

    I teach in IL and at our most recent district meeting we were told that our students are now going to have to complete extended response questions about three non-fiction writing samples, where previously they only had one non-fiction. Where is the research supporting students doing better when decoding non-fiction works? What are others' thoughts in this area?