In a Boston Globe column cheering on the Common Core standards and their infamous call for 70% of student reading in high school to be non-fiction, David Coleman is quoted as saying that "non-fiction will mostly be read in science, history, and social studies classes, where students ought to be using primary sources and learning to decipher scientific research."
This is pretty interesting. I'd be happy if students read as much fiction as they are supposed to do now but read twice as much nonfiction, but that is very obviously not going to happen. The problem with reading a lot is that it takes time, and if student reading is really split 70-30, then Leafstrewn students who are now assigned 8 novels a year (2000+ pages) would then have to read the equivalent of close to 7000 pages--which would probably be great, but would not leave a lot of time to work on all the other stuff that's mentioned in the standards--let alone leave time for students to do a lot of independent reading--another thing Coleman has on occasion called for.
Another possibility is that the CC people envision much more independent reading, and much less whole-class reading than is currently assigned, perhaps because they realize that a lot of students don't do the reading. That's a vision I could respect, but I don't think David Coleman and his collaborators have thought it through that deeply. Instead, my sense is that, notwithstanding the Oxford degree the Globe columnist admiringly cites, Coleman has little idea what it's like in an actual school and little sense of how the document he was paid to prepare might actually be put into effect.