Author Topic: Common Core Killing Nation's Great Literature, [Hillsdale] Scholar Argues  (Read 392 times)

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Offline Cincinnatus

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WASHINGTON – Fewer students will be exposed to the great works of literature, art and music under the Common Core State Standards Initiative, Terrence O. Moore, assistant professor of history at Hillsdale College argues.

The Common Core is an "attempt to take away the great stories of the American people and replace them with the stories that fit the progressive, liberal narrative of the world," Moore said in a Thursday speech hosted by Hillsdale College in Washington, D.C.

The architects of the Common Core, he said, are "story-killers" because they are "killing the greatest stories of the greatest nation in history."

Moore researched the Common Core for a recently published book, The Story-Killers: A Common Sense Case Against the Common Core. For that book, Moore looked at the Common Core's list of suggested readings and textbooks that have been published to align with the Common Core.

In his speech, a video of which will soon be available on the Hillsdale College website, Moore provides many examples of great works of literature that are being removed from school curriculum around the country because of the Common Core.

Plato, Hans Christian Andersen and Benjamin Franklin cannot be found in Common Core readings, for instance. When students do read some of the great works of literature, they tend to be excerpts rather than complete works, supplemented with modern commentary on the works. The great works of literature are also being replaced by "informational texts" and recent articles written by journalists.

For one example, Moore found a lesson on Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. In that lesson, students are not asked to actually read Frankenstein. Rather, they read three and half pages of Shelley writing about what it was like to write Frankenstein. Then they read five pages from a modern author writing about scary stories, with no mention of Frankenstein. Then they read five and a half pages of a script from a Saturday Night Live skit about Frankenstein.

In that skit, Frankenstein's monster calls everyone a "fascist." The teacher's manual tells the teacher to explain the word "fascist" to the class and how the word has come to refer to any "right wing extremist group."...

Paraphrasing Plato, Moore said, "Whoever controls ... the narrative controls the politics, the economics, the family, the ways of thinking and the ways of believing. ... The most impressionable people, of course, are the children. So, welcome to the world of the Common Core."
We shall never be abandoned by Heaven while we act worthy of its aid ~~ Samuel Adams

Offline Oceander

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I don't recall being tasked with reading a lot of "Great Literature" in primary school and only really had some assigned to me when I got into the English gifted & talented class in high school; the non G&T classes did not.  And I went to one of the better public high schools in Fairfax, VA which, at least back in the 80s, was one of the better public school districts.

"For almost 400 years in this country, and for over 2,000 in the history of the West," Moore said, "truth, knowledge, beauty and virtue were the aims of education."

With the understanding of beauty no longer a purpose of education, "art and music are dying a slow death in our schools."


The history of education in the US is rather complicated, and not easily summarized, but sufficeth to say that since the late 1800s and early 1900s the US educational system - certainly the public school system - focused on establishing minimum competencies, like basic literacy, in everyone and in providing students with the ability to prepare for the burgeoning white collar job and skilled blue collar job markets (e.g., that was/is the whole point of vocational education).  The so-called "classical" education - focused on "truth, knowledge, beauty and virtue", at least in the abstract - was generally left to the private schools.

That's why the old cliche of the Three Rs - Readin', (W)riting, and 'Rithmetic - is a cliche:  because the schools taught everyone how to read (at all, forget about the classics), to write (the ABCs, not a latter-day version of Plato's Republic), and to add, subtract, multiply, and divide (calculus was a long time coming to the high school curriculum and even now few kids take it).

I would also just like to point out that one of the ways liberals have managed to use the public schools to cripple the American electorate has been by de-emphasizing the Three Rs - the hard-nosed, practical aspects of education - and emphasizing the subjective and rhetorical - art, beauty, "truth" - at least inasmuch as protesting, per se, is taught as "truth" - and virtue - liberal, PC, "virtue" that is - so I would be very leery of someone who wants to continue downplaying the practical in favor of the liberal in the public schools.

Finally, I would point out that the Common Core is nothing more than a set of standards - benchmarks that students are expected to hit - and doesn't dictate the entire curriculum any teacher or school must use.  So long as any given curriculum gives the students the ability to hit the benchmarks, it doesn't really matter how it does that nor does it matter if the curriculum goes above and beyond the bare minimum needed to hit those benchmarks.

« Last Edit: January 13, 2014, 03:54:46 PM by Oceander »

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