Books are Enough

The Power of Free, Self-Selected Reading

Jeb Bush and the the Florida Dept. of Ed (sic) HATE Choice

If Jeb Bush, the Florida Department of Education and GOP legislature love “choice” and “personalized” learning so much why are they often supporting just the opposite?

Why are students not given a CHOICE in the stories they read on FCAT or under Common Core testing?  Instead they must read about the “History of Cement” and “Urban Sprawl.” Are you kidding me? Imagine what would happen to scores if kids were allowed to test on at least some of the topics they enjoy.  What if they could personalize their learning experience? We can’t have that now can we?

It only gets worse under Common Core testing as students are forced into more “challenging” text that is far from comprehensible.  Students will continue to be bored to tears.  Even readings selected by teachers in class will become ponderous as “close readings” suck the life out of readers. Reading as a task and not something to enjoy is a tragic crime.

Instead of letting readers develop naturally- they are herded into the AYP village. They score a 240 and not a 241 and are told they are not “proficient” or on grade level.

THESE KIDS CAN READ. Do not conflate test scores with the ability to “read.”

The sad thing is that the overwhelming evidence showing self-selected reading is the way to go, is ignored by state after state.  Anyone want to challenge me? Run your program against my self-selected reading philosophy and see who wins. My kids will be book-loving citizens who also happen to do great on tests. My goal is to encourage readers and create book-loving citizens.  Test scores be damned.

Researchers to study: (for starters)

Stephen Krashen    Richard Allington    Linda Gambrell    Warwick Elley


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