Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Massive Censorship as Common Core Kills the Mockingbird; Expect Silence from the American Library Association

Common Core censors out
To Kill a Mockingbird
Common Core.  The supposed nationwide standard for what children will learn in public school.  With respect to reading material, Common Core standardizes sexually inappropriate material.  Organizations like the American Library Association [ALA] need not work so hard to ensure children retain access to sexually inappropriate material.  Common Core will do that for them now:



Indeed, ALA supports the proliferation of Common Core:



But worse, way worse than standardizing sexualized books, is the massive censorship at the heart of Common Core.  To Kill a Mockingbird?  Gone.  The Great Gatsby?  Not so great.  "Squeezed off the syllabus."  From all schools.  Nationwide:


In Chris Kirchner's freshman English classes at Coral Reef Senior High School, novels like "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "The Great Gatsby" have been squeezed off the syllabus to make room for nonfiction texts including "The Glass Castle" and "How to Re-Imagine the World."  For the first time, students will read only excerpts of classics like "The Odyssey" and "The House on Mango Street" instead of the entire book.


Under Common Core, classics such as "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" are of no more academic value than the pages of the Federal Register or the Federal Reserve archives -- or a pro-Obamacare opinion essay in The New Yorker.  Audio and video transcripts, along with "alternative literacies" that are more "relevant" to today's students (pop song lyrics, for example), are on par with Shakespeare.

English professor Mary Grabar describes Common Core training exercises that tell teachers "to read Lincoln's Gettysburg Address without emotion and without providing any historical context.  Common Core reduces all 'texts' to one level:  the Gettysburg Address to the EPA's Recommended Levels of Insulation."  Indeed, in my own research, I found one Common Core "exemplar" on teaching the Gettysburg Address that instructs educators to "refrain from giving background context or substantial instructional guidance at the outset."

Another exercise devised by Common Core promoters features the Gettysburg Address as a word cloud.  Yes, a word cloud.  Teachers use the jumble of letters, devoid of historical context and truths, to help students chart, decode and "deconstruct" Lincoln's speech.
In contrast, ALA opposes the "censorship" of To Kill a Mockingbird.  Here are just a few examples:



Think about this.  ALA supports Common Core but ostensibly opposes censorship, something Common Core now does on a massive scale.  So ALA rightly supports To Kill a Mockingbird while Common Core wrongly "squeezes it off the syllabus."

Will ALA now drop its support for Common Core?

I predict it will not, given its promotion of sexually inappropriate material for children is real and its opposition to censorship is only for show.  Here is just the latest example of ALA censorship and even blacklisting:



Hat tip to Diane Ravitch for making me aware of this massive Common Core censorship.  "Education reformer Diane Ravitch says that the standards have been adopted 'without any field test ... imposed on the children of this nation despite the fact that no one has any idea how they will affect students, teachers, or schools.'"

NOTE ADDED 17 OCTOBER 2013:

Updated a link to the correct link for the Sarah Carr story.

This just in, as another example of another national group addressing that odd case where a school "bans" reading material. And again I predict silence about Common Core's censorship of the very same book nationwide, this time from the NCAC:




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