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Can't we just read?

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Recent trips to the local national chain bookstore with my mom to replenish her store of mystery novels have been working my nerves, already frazzled by the takeover of testing.

Take a look at the new subject headings on the book carrels.

I shared my frustration at a recent parent meeting and one mom's reaction was, “Can’t we just read?”

No, we can’t, according to the Common Core Corps and the test publishers (mostly one and the same). With the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) about to hit our schools and our children hard, we — and especially the children — can’t just read anymore. No -- reading is simply prep work for college and career, and for the tests that will decide if you are ready for college and career.

Children have to read more non-fiction because, according to the Common Core Corps, that’s what they will be reading in college and in their careers. And reading, like all CCSS curriculum, must be rigorous if it is worth doing.

Welcome to the Brave New World of reading. And if you don’t get that literary allusion, well, it probably doesn’t really matter to the Common Core Corps.

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