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Learning to Read: The Language of Fiction and the Fiction of Language

Learning to Read: The Language of Fiction and the Fiction of Language

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Learning to read is inseparable from teaching to read. The foundational assumption of the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI) master plan in the English language arts is that its method for teaching reading will eventuate in students’ learning to read (as well as speak and write) better. Teachers and students come at their shared task from different perspectives, but both are presumed to be working in the same project of engaging something unproblematically called “language,” the program’s middle name (as it is of the MLA).

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The Common Core and the Evasion of Curriculum

The Common Core and the Evasion of Curriculum

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My position is that real national standards—not simply state standards—are a desirable goal for the United States today, and long overdue. The “local control” of public education by states and school districts has been, let us admit, the greatest flaw of the K–12 system and a powerful obstruction to the reform of that system. On the other hand, I agree with many (Bryant; Hacker and Dreifus; Ravitch) who see the Common Core as a misguided effort at reform, fatally undermined by the use of punitive, high-stakes testing as the driver of implementation (Loveless).

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Dealing with the Context of the English Language Arts Common Core State Standards

Dealing with the Context of the English Language Arts Common Core State Standards

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The NCTE-led National Center for Literacy Education did a 2013 national survey about the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) that included members of its twenty-nine stakeholder groups. Because those standards for literacy affect all subjects, the survey went to teachers of many subjects, like math, social studies, and science; administrators in roles like principal and district superintendent; and educators in positions like librarian, director of professional development, and literacy coach.

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