Parent reviews for Newsela

Common Sense says

Stellar news tool connects kids to absorbing leveled reads
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 31 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 25 reviews
Adult Written byVikingNewTech September 9, 2014

Great for Differentiation!

Great website that allows you to modify news articles to fit several different levels of Lexile Scores. The constant updates of recent and interesting articles helps peak interests in students while challenging them to read at their levels and engage in materials with students reading at different levels. Also many articles come with assignments/quizzes at the end that are great for review check ups.
Adult Written byDescayg October 9, 2019

Biased Political Piece

The article my child was assigned was titled, "Teachers are among the candidates in November's elections." However the article focused more on pointing out that most teachers are in the Democratic party and go against Republicans. Statements such as "Democratic candidates have a chance to make a difference on a statewide level" "Republicans voted against a tax increase that was used to pay teachers more" flood the article. It was actually difficult to find any facts to answer the question posed, "Why should teachers get involved in politics?" In my opinion the students should NOT be reading from this Newsela source as it is clearly biased and written with an agenda.

This title contains:

Privacy & Safety
Adult Written byraseone December 18, 2019

Heavy leftist political bias, focus on ideology rather than knowledge

Error ridden, biased, articles my 4th grade daughter brought home caused me to question this source. I examined quite a bit of their content as well as the company website, especially the list of partners and content providers. There is a fairly severe progressive agenda at work here and I don't trust it. We want our children to lean how to think, not what to think.
Parent Written byJames M Bentley October 29, 2019

Game-changing literacy platform

I've been teaching since 1996. As I scroll past the rants by other adults who have scored Newsela low for bias or a "liberal" slant, I shake my head and can say with a high degree of confidence the negative reviewers are not in education and do show a high degree of their own bias and perhaps white fragility.

As for the platform, I use it almost daily to couple science articles to daily instruction. It's a powerful moment when in a 5th-grade classroom a student who's reading at an 8th grade level and a student who's reading at a 2nd grade level can read the same concepts in two articles at different Lexiles and discuss what they read.

The quizzes are great measures of text comprehension. The write prompts being customizable help me tailor prompts to match what I'm teaching for writing. The Power Words feature does a great job of defining words in context using strategies promoted by Margaret McKeown. The ability to annotate text and for teachers and students to interact using this feature is powerful.

Don't let the negative hype fool you. This is not a propaganda tool or a way for liberals to brainwash kids. This is a platform that levels the playing field and gives all students-especially those students furthest from opportunity-access to the written word.
Adult Written byscrowe9 October 1, 2019

Horrible Left Progressive Indoctrination of our kids

My twin girls who are both eight and are in 3rd grade. We have been reviewing their reading assignments from an organization known as NEWSELA. I have highlighted all the Progressive Indoctrination points in the articles. They are trying to feed our kids an article from the Washington Post about how they must stop Global Warming from destroying humanity. It states we 'must' act and 'if' we don't the world will end and of course it's all Trump's fault that he doesn't want to protect the environment. In addition, they are making our kids answer questions about "special" kids that made a difference in 2018. I kid you not, they have hit every Progressive point that our kids must answer: kids filing lawsuits to stop global warming, a "safe space" for bullied kids, kids changing gun laws, kids walking out of class to protest gun violence and "laws", plastic straws (enough said), removing Confederate statues, white supremacists, and racism. No facts to backup the left bias or any balance of a different opinion!
Parent Written bymaggie a. November 24, 2018

Disappointed in the content and website

I have heard a lot about Newsela and decided to try it out with my son. We have been using Dogo News for current events but we tried reading Newsela together and I was very disappointed. the news covered on the front page (like irrelevant movie reviews of "the grinch" and news about sleep surveys) lacks substance and there are very few articles that my son and i found engaging. I am thoroughly disappointed in newsela and plan to go back to Dogo News for reliable and consistently informative content.

This title contains:

Consumerism
Privacy & Safety
Adult Written byTruegentlmn March 5, 2019

Left Baised

I am pleased to do any assignment from my school but I am worried if other children are able to decipher the facts from the false. It is very left-biased. I do not suggest this site as a primary learning source and as your child reads the articles make sure they are able to decipher the information and research the sources to ensure the information is factual.
Adult Written byItsTimmy May 5, 2020

Trash

The worst website on the internet
Adult Written byColoradoMom5 October 30, 2019

Biased perspectives combined with weak differentiation and low quality quizzes

First, as a former teacher, I've worked with this type of presentation before--it really sounds great in theory -- kids have access to all kinds of interesting content, at their particular reading level, and quizzes are created by Newsela, again at an appropriate (often called "differentiated" level). Teachers can choose from a variety of interesting topics seemingly from reliable sources. The concept is truly awesome. However, the reality is a bit different. When switching between lexile levels for a variety of articles, I really found a difference in the quality of the presentation. Sometimes, just to change the lexile level, all Newsela did was remove a sentence or two, which awkwardly left out necessary explanation (they didn't rewrite it in a simpler way, as they could have done). More importantly, though, was that the quality of the quiz questions was quite low...my impression on average was that about 3 out of 4 questions were decent enough, but not great, while often 1 question was just plain weak. If you're ok with all of that (and I can see why a teacher might be, because it reduces their workload, and teachers are often overworked and underpaid), there's the additional HUGE issue of the bias that's inherent in these articles. Newsela takes much of its current event content from left-leaning media outlets. This could really be ok, IF they presented both sides of an issue. They do not. Kids are led to believe that the Newsela article is the ONLY way to view a controversial topic. Let's not underestimate our kids--they would grow more as learners and as citizens if they analyzed both sides of a topic. Why not present both? I'm appalled that Newsela is actually getting away with this with young and impressionable kids. Parents, please read the articles and weigh in with your kids. Discuss what they're reading at school.
Adult Written byFaZe Mario April 9, 2019

Too hard

Itś just bad in general.
Adult Written byGavin S. January 22, 2019

Very, Very Dissapointing.

Wanted some info for a school project only to see a bunch of articles on politics, On a website for KIDS. Now, I'm not angry because its left-leaning, I'd get angry if it was Right-leaning too but this is just indoctrination of kids. Articles supporting morbid obesity and saying that racism is only possible by white people. They also are one-sided on arguments of Sexism and abuse, Making it seem like women are the only ones that are abused in relationships which is pure wrong.
Adult Written byWackson20 January 13, 2021

Newslea

It sadly is bad and democrat. It copies and pastes from Washing post and CNN and CNN10 for kids. It overreacts everything. Also why talk and praise in an article a random kid who is 9 years old who is famous for something so great and good. Why is it that some random kid is like "OOH DAT NEEDZ SUM FIXIN UP OR WE DIE." It is weird that kids stand up to do dangerous things. Leave that to the parents who help 10 times more than kids help. Adults are already being so more productive than kids and they have helped solve worldly problems more also. Kids just need to live normally and have a fun wholesome childhood and to enjoy it while they can. Also a lot of teachers I know are democratic and democrats don't get the point of it sometimes. No offense. Just if you want some proof watch the Dan Bongino Show and you will get everything.
Parent Written byAd F. December 26, 2020

Total Garbage

This app is total garbage. The content mostly consists of social justice progressive agenda and the articles have subliminal bias. There is more opinion than fact that reminds me of reading a page out of a Soviet playbook. The propaganda involved is very heavy, especially in articles talking about social justice and politics. There are no other points of view, and it seems to me that they are trying to do opinion cleansing. I would recommend for this not to be read by impressionable children, otherwise they will be confused by fact and fiction. This trashy app preys upon the most vulnerable in our society that can easily be influenced and told what to think.

This title contains:

Consumerism
Privacy & Safety
Adult Written byAmericanmom3 September 24, 2020

Biased indoctrination

These articles should NOT be a part of students school life. Many lean left, for example “13 year old inspiring democratic speech” “gender equality” etc. It goes on and on. I couldn’t find a positive Right leaning article. It is not our schools or teacher job to influence our children in this way. Our taxes should not be paying for this!!
Adult Written byjstalwart August 31, 2020

Liberal Indoctrination

This is left indoctrination at its finest. The opinion pieces are extremely bias and omit facts to try and steer the thinking of whoever is reading it. I would not recommend it to kids based on this fact alone.
Adult Written byarcas August 20, 2020

Newsela: Liberals Love it!

As a high school teacher, I have noticed that Newsela shows the same hatefulness toward our president as the mainstream media and it sickens me. Their liberal bias is evident in EVERY article that has anything to do with politics. Liberal teachers love it because it furthers their own agenda, but I won't assign anything from Newsela again.
Adult Written byrsittler May 15, 2020

Even setting aside the political slant, the articles are poorly written and the questions are confusing and in many cases just wrong!

Look, I don't want to be a hater with respect to a website that is put together to allow my daughters to practice reading comprehension while learning about current events. In theory, this sounds great. But, the political slant is out of control. Further, and this is what really bothers me, the questions are horrible. The answers in many cases do not make sense. I am working to get this garbage removed from my kid's school.
Adult Written bynuriarivas February 10, 2021

BIAS

This site is sooooooo BIAS.
Articles are selected with progressive agenda. Spoon feed bias information to kids.
If this was a balance platform it would be a good tool.
Districts should not use it as a resource for teachers and students.
Adult Written bykatstengele November 12, 2020

Biased and one sided!

I have taught kindergarten 14 years, 4th grade 2 years and 7th grade 1 year. I substitute teach. Teacher and Parents please wake-up. Why would you let
biassed publication be in schools. Every liberal teacher will assign this. Look how they talk about Trump, picture him and write false views about him. Is he perfect no. They have never been honorable to presidents if they are repbulicans - until the are out of office and decided to join the democrats like Bush did with Obama. I just can't stand this publication.
Don't order it if you have a conservative bone in your body.
Adult Written byktarnas October 18, 2020

Excellent access for young researchers!

This resource makes it possible for younger readers to access articles at the reading level that is comfortable for their understanding. Finally a way for upper elementary aged students to get research within their comprehension reach! Articles are sourced from published journalists and allow students to read about current events in the news, and most importantly to search for articles connected to personal interests such as animals, space, and more!

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