This Argus Leader article could potentially be used as a Common Core informational text candidate. Consider it is a ‘credible source’ and as such, acceptable to use in a classroom under Common Core.
In the Argus Leader article, reporter named Patrick Anderson asks a teacher a question or two. Some parents are also questioned. Parents, pay attention to the question first asked in this “informational text” candidate at the Argus Leader:
What changed for you when the standards were implemented?
I know that I’ve focused on trying to bring in more newspaper articles, news-sourced articles on a topic. For example, I was talking to you about Civil Disobedience, that’s an older document by Henry David Thoreau. And what I had the students do was I gave them some reading focus points … And so we did that as an academic portion of American literature. But then I had them go find articles from credible sources where Americans have exercised civil disobedience and what was their reason and what were the results, and that’s more of what I started to do.
Because I can’t ignore what’s in our curriculum. And I don’t want to ignore it, but I think we live in a time where it needs to be relevant.
Current events are important, however Common Core’s insistence on selective and often subjective “informational texts” is both forcing and influencing the issue.
The teacher, Brown, who says she sends her kids to ‘credible sources’? What sources? What is the criteria used to determine if they are ‘credible’ or not? The author of this article doesn’t press Brown on this.
Happy to see Thoreau in there. Ironic since his essay of opposition to the Mexican war, Civil Disobedience, opens up with the quote “That government is best which governs least” in its opening sentence; Common Core is arguably government trying to govern more. Having said that, Civil Disobedience has multiple historical and definitive facets to it. Comparing those historical and definitive facets to what is being called ‘civil disobedience’ today is arguably going to be slanted by reading ‘informational texts” such from unnamed ‘credible sources’.
Then at the end we have a parent saying their kid’s teacher is showing CNN and some of it is inappropriate. Why was there no follow-up on that in this article?
If this article were to be considered a ‘credible source’ or an “informational text”, the student using it is going to get a skewed picture.