While visiting a local high school as a liaison between my department at the University of Missouri–St. Louis and the high school’s Advanced Credit program, I had occasion to speak with its young principal—a newly minted doctor of education. I told him about a challenge facing those of us who teach in K–16 education: the difficulty of getting students to summon the patience, stamina, and will to read dense text, particularly book-length writings, in an age of instant gratification, sound-bites, jazzy graphics, and condensed versions of knowledge. In short, I asked him, do students still have the capacity for deep reading, followed by deliberation and reflection? Can they conduct serious discourse?
Rochester, blogging at Flypaper, no less, manages to go from this beginning for five paragraphs on "the progressive view of school choice" as if progressives are, were, and will always be in charge of our nation's schools.
You get no indication whatsoever that we're in the middle of an unprecedented nationwide drive to increase "the patience, stamina, and will to read dense text" at all grade levels via the Common Core standards. Text complexity is the real emphasis of the standards, not the other stuff people are prattling on about.
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