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Should Students Be Reading Less Fiction?

OPB | Jan. 18, 2013 12:40 p.m. | Updated: Sept. 11, 2013 12:26 a.m.

There’s a debate among high school education specialists over what students should be reading. The conversation has become particularly heated due to the Common Core standards — education guidelines that 46 states (including Oregon) and the District of Columbia have adopted. The guidelines read (pdf) in part:

The Standards demand that a significant amount of reading of informational texts take place in and outside the ELA [English Language Arts] classroom. 

That passage has generated extensive discussions about just how much of the new “informational text” requirements have to be integrated into English class. Opponents say English teachers will have to reduce fiction texts, and advocates say most instructional texts will be left to teachers in other disciplines.

Even if there is confusion over just how much English classrooms will have to change, it is clear the new standards emphasize an effort to integrate more non-ficiton in students’ reading lists.

Are you an English teacher or student? What kinds of texts do you want to see in your English classroom? What was your favorite book from high school?

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