Common Core reading and NPR

While driving today, I listened to this excellent NPR story on how the Common Core is working to change reading education.  I learned so much in just a few minutes and was struck by how thoughtful and nuanced the story was.   And then it occurred to me this is why I love NPR.  Could ABC, CBS, CNN, etc., produce stories like this?  Absolutely,  Do we ever get anything remotely this good?  Not that I can tell (but I gave up on all those guys a long time ago).  Sure, one can argue reading is a different, but a TV story could have nicely been fleshed out with a student struggling over some hard words while getting a helping hand from a teacher, or whatever.

Point being, this is the kind of stuff that I think is really valuable for citizens to know.  Exactly how Common Core aims to change how we teach kids to read and how it’s being implemented.  I imagine your typical TV news story would just have political “experts” partisan sniping at each other over the issue with very little understanding of what’s going on.  Of course, one can also get good stories like this from myriad on-line sources, but it is nice that there is at least one broadcast medium (and something I can listen to while I’m driving) that takes good news so seriously.

And, oh, yeah, read the whole series.  It’s hard not to be impressed with how the Common Core is approaching reading.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

2 Responses to Common Core reading and NPR

  1. Deborah Ferry says:

    Unfortunately, here in Arizona, we just elected as Superintendent of Public Education a woman with no background whatsoever in education. Her entire platform was keeping Common Core out of Arizona’s schools. Sad considering we already have some of the worst schools in the country.

  2. John F. says:

    Funny, I started reading the NPR article early this morning which led me to the full documentary on American RadioWorks:

    It’s pretty riveting if you have a chance. I listened to it in the shower and on my drive into work. What I found most intriguing and hadn’t considered previously was in the way Common Core, if executed effectively, has the potential to break down, to the extent that it is possible in the classroom, the class divisions that have built up through instructional techniques that stress skills and strategies instead of encouraging passion, curiosity, engagement, and constructively challenging students to think critically. Certainly more work has to be done outside our schools to address these profoundly negative class divisions but it is exciting that the possibility exists to drive change through the approach to educating children.

    It’s also funny that I was having a very similar conversation this morning before reading your blog about how NPR & PBS do such a great job of providing substantive and a comprehensive background that provide viewers/readers with a richer and more nuanced understanding of the issues.

    Great minds or something like that.


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