the seventh type

There is a compelling story going around the blogs locally and nationwide that the Common Core State Standards require English teachers to water down and deaden the teaching of fiction literature in their classes.

According to this story, familiar works are eliminated and replaced by boring instructional material, or dry non-fiction text such as government reports and publications. It sounds awful. It’s also a great opportunity to get up on one’s high horse in defense of literature. Here’s a snarky example from the Washington Post:

Forget “The Great Gatsby.”

New Common Core standards (which impact 46 out of 50 states) will require that, by graduation in 2014, 70 percent of books studied be nonfiction. Some suggested texts include “FedViews” by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, the EPA’s “Recommended Levels of Insulation,” and “Invasive Plant Inventory” by California’s Invasive Plant Council.

Forget “Catcher in the Rye” (seems…

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