Great piece by American Principles Project’s Jane Robbins.
David Coleman, the non-English teacher who wrote the Common Core national English language arts (ELA) standards, is conducting a charm offensive to persuade Christians to embrace the new national standards. According to Mr. Coleman, students “educated” under Common Core will be better readers and better able to understand Scripture, and thus will enjoy deeper and more satisfying spiritual lives. Quite a claim for any set of school standards – much less standards based on an arid view of workforce-training rather than true education.
The central organizing theme of the Common Core ELA standards is that study of creative literature must be diminished in favor of nonfiction “informational texts.” The idea is that students should be drilled in the types of documents they are more likely to encounter in their entry-level jobs (and make no mistake, Common Core is a workforce-development model, not an education model).
What is Coleman’s evidence that switching focus from classic literature to nonfiction (including Federal Reserve documents and the EPA’s “Recommended Levels of Insulation”) will create better readers? There is none. To the contrary, all the historical and empirical evidence confirms the opposite. As Dr. Sandra Stotsky and Dr. Mark Bauerlein have shown, “classic literary texts pose strong challenges in vocabulary, structure, style, ambiguity, point of view, figurative language, and irony.” Isn’t this the kind of education students need to be able to understand Scripture – much of which, obviously, is constructed as stories, parables, and creative literature?
Continue Reading at FightCommonCore.
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