I think much of the current discussion (and that is not the right word from my perspective, but let's stick with it for now) of a need for balanced literacy, though, is part of a larger puzzle. I have been seeing some of the pieces in various locations, and they are beginning to form a larger picture. Here are some of the pieces to consider:
1. This snarky piece from the NY Post decries the NYPL Summer Reading List by opening with this paragraph: "What should kids read this summer? Don’t ask the New York Public Library: Its “Summer Reading Challenge 2014” is among the silliest, most politically correct and uninspiring lists around." It decries the lack of anything other than fluff (from this writer's perspective). Here is a link to the middle school books: https://www.nypl.org/sites/default/files/Middle%20School%20Booklist%202014.pdf. Not much fluff here. As a matter of fact, I spy some award winners, some delicious paranormal books, and a great assortment of books about other people, places, and times.
2. Several editorial pieces in the NYT have called for an end to using "popular" literature inside of the classroom and recommended it be used only for "leisure" reading.
3. Many, many, many pieces in various outlets are calling for a "return" to the standards, specifically CCSS.
4. Troubling endorsement of tough standards (and specifically CCSS by various organizations as if CCSS is some sort of miraculous way to get rid of the achievement gap.
5. Some other states pulling out of CCSS.
Ah, the picture is beginning to emerge. See it?