How do educators create a society of readers? It’s not by restricting reading to an accepted range of Lexile levels or only books that have a quiz attached to them. Reading levels can be a useful tool to assist in guiding a child to the right book for them, but when those numbers become the only determining factor of what is acceptable to read, we have a problem.
Trigger warnings, initially designed to give advance notice of content potentially detrimental to those who have suffered trauma, have made their way into everyday situations and become code for ‘stuff that may be offensive or upsetting.’
Regulations have been proposed and are being considered by the Virginia Board of Education which would require local school districts to tell parents whenever books or textbooks contain “sexually explicit material” are being used for teaching.
These days, Common Sense Media’s initiatives contain a less than subtle paternalism based on the conviction that its values should control children’s learning experiences. Early pronouncements like Core Belief #6 (“We believe that through informed decision making, we can improve the media landscape one decision at a time”) suddenly come across as a determination to reform that landscape in its own image.