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

Thursday, January 02, 2014

The common core ignores the evidence

Sent to the Los Angeles Times, Jan 2

Al Austin, in his letter to the Times (Jan 2) notes that the common core calls for "a sharp reduction" in literature in schools in favor of increased exposure to informational text.

This policy was created without any empirical evidence. The common core designers ignored  (or were not aware of) not only studies showing that reading literature contributes to an "enhanced theory of mind," described in the Times by Robert Sapolsky ("Another use for literature," Dec. 29) but also the massive amount of published research showing that self-selected "lighter" reading (largely fiction) contributes powerfully to literacy development (reading ability, vocabulary, grammar, spelling) and supplies the foundation for the reading of challenging texts.

Stephen Krashen

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