A few years back, I spoke with the education secretary of my home state, Nuevo León, about reading in schools. He looked at me, not understanding what I wanted. “In school, children are taught to read,” he said. “Yes,” I replied, “but they don’t read.” I explained the difference between knowing how to read and actually reading, between deciphering street signs and accessing the literary canon. He wondered what the point of the students’ reading “Don Quixote” was. He said we needed to teach them to read the newspaper.I'm having a queasy feeling about Common Core's requirement that English teachers devote 60% to 80% of their time to shepherding students through "informational text."
When my daughter was 15, her literature teacher banished all fiction from her classroom. “We’re going to read history and biology textbooks,” she said, “because that way you’ll read and learn at the same time.” In our schools, children are being taught what is easy to teach rather than what they need to learn. It is for this reason that in Mexico — and many other countries — the humanities have been pushed aside.
The Country That Stopped Reading
By DAVID TOSCANA
March 5, 2013
I write informational text (see here). I read informational text. But I never, ever, call what I write and read informational text.
If I did, I wouldn't be a writer.
The Common Core Standards: What You Need to Know | June 4, 2012
Orange Public Schools