New Education Standards Begin to Get Rid of Literature
English teachers are fretting that a set of curriculum guidelines could reduce the teaching of fiction and poetry in the classroom. The Common Core State Standards, which will be implemented by more than 40 states by 2014. These new standards require that 50 percent of elementary school reading be nonfiction, climbing to 70 percent by 12th grade. Schools face problems ranging from overcrowded classrooms to crumbling buildings to malnourished students, but the idea of rigorous common standards in general has support from powerful interests including the Department of Education, the U.S. Army, and numerous reformists.