Students Missing out on Literary Classics with Common Core

Photo credit: Kate Ter Haar (CC-By-2.0)
Photo credit: Kate Ter Haar (CC-By-2.0)

Are students missing out on literary classics with Common Core? Detroit Today heard on WDET 101.9fm, a station that belongs to Wayne State University, asked in a recent episode.

Of course they are. Anytime that you read less literature you have to cut somewhere. Common Core ELA standards encourages 50% literature and 50% informational text for students K-11. In 12th grade the standards encourage a shift to 30% literature and 70% informational texts.

We read fewer novels, fewer short stories, fewer plays, fewer poems,” says Dave Atkins, a English language arts teacher at Dearborn High School said to Detroit Today. “Literature gives us sort of that shared connectivity. It’s part of who and what we are. It’s the very nature and fabric of our society.”

When I go to some other place in the world, I always want to read their poetry and their stories so I can understand the culture,” says M.L. Liebler, a poet and Wayne State University lecturer said on the program. “It’s all there in between the lines… And you remove that from our curriculum and there’s a problem there.”

Definitely a problem. Of course Common Core advocates have blamed teachers saying “they’re implementing it wrong.” Because unclear standards couldn’t be to blame.

Now they’re blaming the curriculum, because publishing houses apparently don’t understand what is required for the standards.

Of course. It can’t be the standards fault.

Education Week reports that Common Core reading materials got mixed reviews:

The first round of ELA ratings, released today, were generally more positive than the math ratings have been—however, they were mixed overall. Of the seven instructional series analyzed, three completely met the benchmarks for being considered aligned to the Common Core State Standards for reading and three partially met them. Just one textbook series—Pearson’s Reading Street Common Core for grades 3-6—was deemed fully unaligned.

I would be remiss to not point out that who released the ratings receives funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation… Have to blame the implementation on something just pay some reviewers to blame the curriculum.

One thought on “Students Missing out on Literary Classics with Common Core

  1. Can’t this reform get anything right? (Bite your tongue.)

    Just another Common Core insistence that didn’t quite deliver what it was supposed to … like the “new” math that requires lots more fingers and toes than most human beings own.

    David Coleman is the unmentioned reformer-typhoon who insisted that great literature should be consumed like some chubby person on a crash diet. Small chunks of fat-free excerpts of this novel or that speech that should be endlessly chewed and overly-savored. And this, David Coleman insists, will be more than enough to turn young learners into literary studs. Not gonna happen.

    Coleman and company are assassinating what they profess to love … revered literature. Young readers are reading less and less … turned off by the tedious quest for imaginary meaning and mind-warping micro-inferences. Everything gets over-chewed.

    Books are not to be daintily consumed like dietetic hors d’oeuvres. They should be devoured like a starving lumberjack slaughters a steak dinner.

    David Coleman has removed the savor with this “close reading” suffering. Just when youngsters are ripe for reading-independence, “close reading” snatches away their passport to wonderlands of every sort.

    “Close reading is a key requirement of CCSS … [that] has been a foundational talking point during the last six years in the selling (and defense) of Common Core … Oops. Is this a real life example on why education reforms should not be adopted until they have undergone peer review and validation?”

    Coleman proudly admitted that “We’re composed of that collection of unqualified people who were involved in developing the common standards …”.

    We know. Don’t remind us.

    Denis Ian

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