Sandra Stotsky, who wrote the outgoing Massachusetts’ pre-K-to-12 standards, which are regarded as among the best in the nation, said the Common Core’s emphasis on nonfiction is misguided.
Tackling rich literature is the best way to prepare students for careers and college, said Stotsky, who blames mediocre national reading scores on weak young adult literature popular since the 1960s.
“There is no research base for the claim that informational reading will lead to college preparedness better than complex literary study,” said Stotsky, a professor at the University of Arkansas.
At a convention of English teachers in November, Stotsky got an earful. “They hate the Common Core, they hate the idea they have to teach nonfiction,” she said.
Stotsky and others have accused Coleman, who studied English literature at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, of trying to elevate fact-based reading and writing at the expense of literature and creative writing.