Great essay in the New York Times by novelist Susan Straight (A Million Nightingales) on Accelerated Reading, a software system used in more than 75,000 schools across the U.S
I had never heard of this program before, but apparently it's designed to help teachers track students' reading and comprehension. It assigns points to various books, but in way too many cases classics - say, To Kill a Mockingbird, arguably one of the novels that has helped thousands if not millions of kids fall in love with reading - get far fewer points than, say, the Harry Potter books. (Straight writes that Mockingbird earns a student 15 points, while Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix earns 44. Maybe it should: the first 100 pages of that book are pretty dull.)
Even if you don't have kids, this essay is worth reading.