In the past week, books assigned to 4th graders at a Wake County school have made national headlines, but local media didn’t cover it until that happened.
Now that the story is out there and Wake County Schools are under the microscope, the coverage can arguably be characterized as ‘media to the rescue’.
Note the title at the News and Observer already sets the narrative, Some books at Cary school draw complaints from conservatives. Gosh, what assumptions will the reader make from that title, before they even read the article? One can gauge that just by reading the comments section.
News and Observer followed up with a video starring Rusty Taylor a “coordinator teacher in Wake County Schools”. Remember the title News and Observer gave him.
Taylor thinks the books were appropriate for 9 and 10 year-old children and paints a rosy picture of one of the books in question. When asked if he thought these topics were too heavy for 9 and 10 year-old 4th graders, Taylor said “Absolutely not.”
Well, Mr. Taylor, parents disagree with you. So does the School Library Journal, which places these books at 6-9th grade reading levels. As “Lead Library Media Coordinator at Wake County Public School System“, Mr. Taylor should know that.
ABC 11’s coverage was a bit better, but didn’t link to the original article at StopCommonCoreNC.org. Neither did News and Observer. Gee, wonder why?
ABC 11 had input from the principal of the school involved, “Gamble said he’s disappointed parents didn’t reach out to him first.” Uh, wait what?
Gamble’s statement is misleading – parents were informed their kids would be doing this by newsletter with no opt out or other communication from the school.
Parents out there, I’ve gotten my share of emails about whacky assignments from all over NC, but Please Share Your Story.
Folks, get informed.
Local media will not furnish you with the original articles, however I will.
Read them. Read the excerpts from these books and then return to Mr. Taylor’s comments.
- 4th Grade Reading Topics
- 4th graders read about the Black Panthers
- 4th graders read about immigration and class
- 4th Graders read police are pigs and Black Panthers are freedom fighters
- 4th graders read US Citizens can be deported
- News & Observer weighs in on parental concerns
- School principal responds to reading assignment concerns
- Fox News Video on Wake County reading controversy