What Are Kids Reading?

Ashley Thorne

When Renaissance Learning conducted its 2012 edition of its report "What Kids Are Reading" (PDF), it asked Sandra Stotsky and other commentators, to weigh in on the question What should kids be reading? Stotsky, who professor of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas and serves on NAS's board of directors, wrote:

This republic cannot flourish in the 21st century, no matter how much time English or reading teachers spend teaching ‘21st century skills’ with texts deemed UG [upper grade], if the bulk of our population is reading at or below the fifth-grade level.

She notes the incongruence between the Education Department's push to ensure that all students become "college-ready" and its failure to define college-readiness. She also cites NAS's recent report on college common reading, Beach Books: What Do Colleges and Universities Want Students to Read Outside Class? The report showed that 10 of the institutions that assign a book for common reading to students selected graphic novels, such as Journey From the Land of No: A Girlhood Caught in Revolutionary Iran and Kabuki: The Alchemy

Stotsky writes about the 2012 Renaissance Learning report in the New York Daily News in "'Twilight' Has No Place in the Classroom," as does Alexander Nazaryan in "Against Captain Underpants: How We Are Raising a Generation of Illiterates." 

  • Share

Most Commented

May 1, 2017


Binghamton University Responds to NAS’s Report

SUNY Binghamton offers critiques and corrections to Outsourced to China. ...

March 23, 2011


Looking for Answers? Ask a Scholar!

NAS is partnering with Intellectual Takeout to answer questions that call for scholarly judgment and can't be answered by Wikipedia. ...

September 5, 2014


Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome

"[PTSS] provides an evidence-proof explanation that lifts away moral responsibility from those engaged in self-destructive, anti-social, and criminal behavior."...

Most Read

May 15, 2015


Where Did We Get the Idea That Only White People Can Be Racist?

A look at the double standard that has arisen regarding racism, illustrated recently by the reaction to a black professor's biased comments on Twitter....

June 15, 2020


See Clearly, Decide Wisely, Act Justly

An Open Letter to the Converse College Community in response to its administrative decisions relating to diversity and inclusion on campus. ...

April 9, 2018


How Many Confucius Institutes Are in the United States?

Download an updated PDF that lists all of the Confucius Institutes in the United States, along with information on who to contact if you have concerns....