Does an addiction to fiction put readers at a disadvantage?

    A recent NewsWorks/Public School Notebook report compared the reading habits of a high school student and an adult. Evidence suggests kids aren’t getting enough nonfiction into their reading diets. Do you see that as anything to worry about?

    In a recent report for NewsWorks and the Public School Notebook, Benjamin Herold compared the reading habits of an honors student at a high-achieving Philadelphia high school and Lorene Cary, a teacher, writer and member of Philadelphia’s School Reform Commission.

    The student, Zach Morales, of George Washington High School, reads a pretty even mix of fiction and nonfiction, while a far greater percentage of Cary’s weekly intake is informational reading, including nonfiction and news media.

    How important is it to you to get nonfiction material into your reading diet? Do you read as much as you would like to? As much as you should (however you define it)? Tell us in the comments below.

    The article points to a trend in high school education toward assigning less nonfiction reading. Many academics and policy makers fear a dumbing-down of curricula and a lack of preparation among high school graduating classes for the rigors of college work.

    Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey have all signed on to new Common Core State Standards, in a move to alleviate this problem, but those standards may be difficult to implement at a time when even high-achieving students like Morales spend as much as half their reading time on social networks and continue to prefer fiction over nonfiction.

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