Speaking Back to the Common Core by Thomas Newkirk

This elegant, brilliant article found its way to me today and I have read it several times, nodding, then cheering at each clear point.  I share it with you, hoping it will provide just what you need to bring back to your colleagues and schools to initiate a discussion about CCSS, point by point.

Perhaps we should be asking ourselves how it happens, in American education, that holes are filled with initiatives like NCLB and CCSS.  We simply must ask these bigger questions right along with doing the very, very difficult work of teaching children to read and write.  Perhaps it wouldn’t be so darned hard if students were steeped in language and learning while reading with fascination and writing fiercely about what matters to them.  I challenge whether marching to the tune of CCSS without keeping in mind what we know genuinely motivates, encourages, and challenges learners is the best we can do.

Here’s the article:  read and think hard about every single point.  Please.


About Ruth Culham

RUTH CULHAM has written more than 40 books and best-selling resources illuminating both writing and the reading-writing connection for countless educators around the globe. Her groundbreaking work with the writing traits and writing from reading is the culmination of 40 years of research, practice, and passion. Ruth’s most recent books, The Writing Thief: Using Mentor Texts to Teach the Craft of Writing and Dream Wakers: Mentor Texts That Celebrate Latino Culture, are available from Stenhouse Publishers. She also conducts professional development for schools and districts and writes a regular column for The Reading Teacher.
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