“Common Core” will force schools to teach kids only what they need to know to pass standardized tests. Much of the content is worthless at best and at worst, highly inappropriate for kids.
Robby Soave gives us an overview at The Daily Caller:
Common Core’s English standards stress nonfiction over literature. By grade 12, 70 percent of what students read should be informational rather than literary. Supporters of the guidelines say an increased focus on informational texts will better prepare kids for post-college employment.
Many of these nonfiction texts come from government websites and promote the findings of various government agencies.
Some might find the texts a bit dry. (And that’s without including “Kenya’s Long Dry Season.”)
Here are a few recommended informational texts.
- “Invasive Plant Inventory,” by the California Invasive Plant Council. This is just a list of invasive plant species in California.
- “Executive Order 13423: Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management,” by the U.S. General Services Administration. The executive order was made under President Bush’s administration, and calls for efficiency and sustainability to be driving motivations in resource management.
- “Recommended Levels of Insulation,” by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. While assuredly a fascinating read, The DC News Foundation was unable to review “Recommended Levels of Insulation,” because the website was hacked.
- “FedViews,” by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. This report from 2009 explains that the federal stimulus helped to stabilize the economy and asserts that there is no link between deficit spending and inflation.
Good-bye, Tom Sawyer! Hello, “Recommended Levels of Insulation.” Or, if you prefer, Marxism mixed with soft porn:
I must admit that I would have been too embarrassed to teach Julia Alvarez’s sexually explicit novel, In the Time of the Butterflies, to the college students I have taught for over twenty years, much less to ninth- and tenth-graders, as many Georgia high school teachers have been instructed to do.
Some high school teachers also have a problem with its overtly feminist and leftist-leaning ideology. The men are portrayed as weak drunkards, continually cheating on their wives.
For example, there is a drunken New Year’s celebration of “the triumphant announcement. Batista had fled! Fidel, his brother Raul, and Ernesto they call Che had entered Havana and liberated the country.” No indication in the novel that Fidel and Raul turned out to be tyrants, or Che a mass murderer.
The novel has explicit descriptions of masturbation and intercourse, but I’m too embarrassed to quote those.
The novel is taken straight from Common Core’s “Text Exemplars” for ninth and tenth grades. Although the “exemplars” are officially intended to be suggested readings, educrats take the suggestions literally. They know that they have to prepare students for the national tests being rolled out in 2014/2015.
[…] Even my question in private to the school board member (who claimed to love “literature”) about the fact that informational texts like EPA directives will be replacing a large percentage of literary works was met with the retort, “So how many times do you use Beowulf? Graduates need to learn how to read informational texts in order to be able to read instructions at work.”
No doubt, high school students sharing his opinion would rather read Alvarez’s unchallenging polemical and titillating prose than Beowulf or Paradise Lost. No doubt, her novel will bring them up to speed on politically correct figures and sex tips. The accompanying EPA directives will teach them how to scan boring texts for required instructions at their “21st century” jobs where they will do tasks that require little concentration or independent thought.