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Will the Common Core open the door

to the crazies? I worry that the Core’s laudable emphasis on teaching children how to evaluate information and arguments will inadvertently fuel the cry to “teach the controversy” about natural selection.


(Neat Neptune and other freethinking t-shirts can be found here.)

Roger Sutton About Roger Sutton

Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.



  1. Roger, it will definitely bring them out and I’m sure they will evaluate exactly how a teacher or school presents their view and demand it be discussed in a way that they approve. I think schools need to work out (with their teachers) how they intend to approach this and other such topics well before they actually plunge into the day-to-day teaching. And they all might need careful outside guidance on how to teach these topics and how to handle potential PR problems.

  2. Roger Sutton Roger Sutton says:

    What I worry about the most, Jim, is that schools will ask books to do what the CC wants the schools to do. With the books. So that everything is going to look like some variation of the “Opposing Viewpoints” series rather than the teacher presenting an array of books with each possessing its own integrity, artistic and otherwise.

  3. Sorry for the delay in responding (a broken elbow and wrist and torn ligament have slowed me up more than usual). Yes, your worry is valid and will happen, I’m sad to say. Was at a recent literature conference where attendees were eager to know more about CCSS changes and how they could make their future projects fit it. We writers there urged that they do projects they truly love and are invested in and that being accepted in libraries and schools would follow. But I worried that some attendees would follow the path of least resistance in order to be published.

  4. Roger Sutton Roger Sutton says:

    Those writers need to understand that what you have been writing and the Horn Book recommending is exactly what CCSS demands: good books with a point of view, facts PLUS thought and passion.

  5. I have been reading Kelly Milner Halls’s cryptid and alien books, and I have to say I appreciate the way that she incorporates multiple theories. I don’t know if *every* J NF needs a point of view.
    But mostly I just need to thank you Roger for the link to those t-shirts. Satan hiding the fossils is the funniest graphic I have seen today!

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