Friday, January 11, 2013

Going Against the Research

David Brooks, in the NYTimes today, has an interesting op-ed here in which he describes all of our country's public policy decisions that fly in the face of solid research.  My comment:

This is so true in education.  Research shows that kids who fall in love with reading, and read all the time, are the best readers.  See the research of Stephen Krashen, a professor emeritus at UCLA and author of The Power of Reading.

With that in mind,  what are the schools being directed to do now, to come into compliance with the Common Core Standards being adopted everywhere?  Should schools make developing avid readers their priority?  Or should they force students to spend their reading time bent over material that is too sophisticated for them, and then spend their homework time trying to answer tedious comprehension questions?  I don't have to tell you the answer.

After thirty-five years of teaching high school English I retired in despair, as I watched my department dismantle our program of high-interest electives—designed to get students excited about reading—and go to the same, canned curriculum for all.

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