Common Core’s list of books, stories, poems and plays isn’t supposed to be an assignment list, but teachers may be using it that way, reports Vox. “Appendix B” is boosting the popularity of stories such as Kafka’s Metamorphosis, according to a Renaissance Learning report.
A Weed Is a Flower: The Life of George Washington Carver, a picture-book example of nonfiction reading for kindergartners and first-graders, was more than 100 times more likely to be read in 2012-13 than it was 2010-11.
Classics such as The Grapes of Wrath and To Kill a Mockingbird are even more popular.
Some worry that students won’t read authors who didn’t make the list, such as James Baldwin.
“It’s a misuse of Appendix B to make it a curriculum,” says Carol Jago, a past president of the National Council of Teachers of English, which helped develop the standards. “It was never intended to be so. But people are just nervous about doing exactly what the Common Core says.”
Starting in middle school, students choose independent reading that’s below their grade level, according to the report. In sixth through 11th grade, students choose books written at the fifth-grade level. That pops up to seventh grade in 12th grade.