The Atlantic on language arts, reading, and the Common Core

WRITING RIGHT: The October issue of the Atlantic probes deeply into fundamental U.S. education issues: teacher evaluations, homeschooling, and a nation's report card, among others. Particularly noteworthy (especially in the context of reports that SAT reading scores have hit a four-decade low) were a couple of features emphasizing the language arts. "The Writing Revolution" tells how a principal at New Dorp High School attributes a significant performance turnaround to a rigorous writing curriculum based on structured analysis. Along the same theme, "The Schoolmaster" looks at efforts by one of Common Core's chief architect, David Coleman (current College Board president and co-founder of Student Achievement Partners), to put K-12 writing standards in line with college requirements by focusing on evidence-based compositions rather than those based on personal feelings and opinions. But not everyone is on board; researchers at Pioneer Institute warn against the Standards' "misplaced stress on literary nonfiction or informational reading in the English class."

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