Letter: Defending choice of third-grade text
In her column "Fear of agendas and the Common Core" [Opinion, Dec. 19], Anne Michaud is right to admire "the Southold superintendent for standing by his teachers' judgment" and allowing his students to read Jeanette Winter's award-winning "Nasreen's Secret School."
Books like this challenge our kids to use new and more difficult material to engage their minds and understand the world around them.
Through books like "Nasreen," the Common Core is fundamentally changing the expectations, content and learning experience for students and teachers. The work is harder, the teaching style is different, and the results can be profoundly more meaningful.
Expeditionary Learning, a national network of more than 160 public and charter schools, collaborated with teachers to select texts for this English language arts curriculum for third-graders in New York State.
The "Nasreen" text was included because it is high-quality literature worthy of reading closely, and because it builds students' knowledge of the diversity of cultures and experiences in our world. These are the foundations for building strong reading comprehension.
With texts like "Nasreen," we believe the Common Core provides an opportunity to create learning experiences where teachers and students can do more than they thought was possible.
Cheryl Dobbertin, Manhattan
Editor's note: The writer is the director of professional development for Expeditionary Learning.