A Program That Needs To Be Stopped Before It Begins

Yesterday Paul Mirengoff at Power Line posted a story about the changes being made on the federal level to school curriculum in America. We are replacing classic literature with propaganda and junk.

The article reports:

Consider that one of the “informational texts” recommended as a replacement for, say, Great Expectations is “Executive Order 13423: Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management.” Students would thus study government propaganda in English class (this Executive Order was issued under President Bush, but it is still propaganda — a political sop to the environmental left, as Stanley Kurtz shows).

Another Common Core’s non-fiction exemplar is an excerpt from a 2009 New Yorker essay by Atul Gawande on health care. This too is propaganda – an effort to show that Obamacare is wise policy.

Proponents of downgrading the teaching of literature claim that their goal is to make sure U.S. students can read and understand complicated texts. But there are plenty of complicated texts that don’t amount to political propaganda, much less propaganda relating to current hot-button policy issues in which the Obama administration is heavily invested. If teaching students how to read such texts were the only goal here, the list of exemplar tests wouldn’t include one-sided political tracts about health care and the environment.

The new curriculum is related to the Race to the Top funds being given out by the Obama Administration. States are required to adopt common standards in order to compete for Race to the Top funds.

The article explains what this is about:

The shrewdest aspect of Obama’s education power play is the relative absence of his fingerprints. As noted, Common Core is being presented as having been adopted in 46 states and the District of Columbia. In reality, though, most of them hadn’t even seen the new standards. They were induced to agree to adopt whatever curriculum leftists like Darling-Hammond came up with as a condition of receiving federal funds.

There is value in a classical education. It should not be phased out in favor of an education that does not allow students to enjoy the writings of some of the great authors of the past. I realize that today’s children live in a world of instant information and texting, rather then literature, but they still need to know some of the great authors in western literature.

Enhanced by Zemanta