I am writing about the July 30 article, “Common Core textbooks arrive.” Sadly, Spokane school district elementary classrooms have gone from a rich literature-based instructional program with real books and many book choices for kids to a one-size-fits-all program where kids have little choice and the professional expertise of teachers is discounted in favor of following a teacher’s guide.
My research in classrooms and with teachers across the United States has confirmed that when children experience opportunities to read high-quality children’s literature they become lifelong readers who turn to reading for pleasure and information.
Researchers like Richard Allington and Stephen Krashen have affirmed with long-term studies that when children experience literature in instructional programs such as reading workshop, they make significant gains in reading achievement. This is especially true for children from high-poverty schools.
The article stated that the new textbook program cost just under $3,000 per classroom. Imagine how many excellent books could flood classrooms if that amount of money was spent instead on high-quality literature.