If the US is to improve high school graduation rates, the country must rethink the entire learning process from kindergarten up. Common core plans to address this through the introduction of informational text to the earliest grades because fictional text does not fully provide students with that real world knowledge or those essential skills needed for students beyond high school so that they might succeed in the real world be it university or the global job market.
How can schools in effect revamp the learning process in their classrooms with limited budgets? Choices need to be made. For example, moving the content of school libraries away from fictional text. Of course, this doesn't mean eliminating it from the library, but instead, effecting a realistic balance between the two forms of reading materials. Are K-3 students too young to fully appreciate non-fictional reading? Not at all--see how enthusiastic 1st graders are about astronomy, archeology, ancient Egyptians, etc. in the PBS video clip below:
TEACHING INFORMATIONAL TEXT
So, will this new approach to making American students better readers on world issues be successful? It is too soon to know. A reform of this nature will take several years to see if it was effective or not. As an eternal optimist (as are the vast majority of teachers), I believe it will inspire kids to reach for the stars, and teachers will have provided them with the tools to get there through the use of informational text throughout all 12 years of K-12 schooling:)
PBS also also quite a few free educational videos on all subject areas which are available for download.
ELL TEACHER PROS