"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Common Core and the Incredible Shrinking Imagination

by Jim Horn
One of the many technocratic mandates of the Common Core Standards comes in the form of an insistent rationing of the kinds and amounts of reading materials that schoolchildren should be exposed to at different grade levels.   

Below is the breakdown from the Common Core website.  Notice that as children get older, they are to get less and less reading in the form of imaginative literature.  
Those who argue that there are connections between the kinds of reading material that children are allowed and encouraged to ingest and the direction and scope of their ethical and intellectual growth, and I count myself in this group, have looked askance at the mandated percentages of literature vs "informational text." 

We are extremely skeptical of David Coleman's rationing of literary works as adolescents get just old enough to appreciate the great poetry, drama, and fiction that our civilizations, past and present, have produced.

Notice just above in the last two lines of the quote from the Common Core web page that Coleman and his tiny cadre of technocrats blame NAEP for this rationing of imaginative literature in the higher grades, as "to measure students' growth toward college and career readiness, assessments aligned with the Standards should adhere to the distribution of texts across grades cited in the NAEP framework."

After all, isn't it all about alignment with NAEP expectations, which, by the way, have been decidedly set at unrealistic levels for a long time, for the sole purpose solely of making public schools look worse they are.

The only problem with this "follow NAEP" rationale is that the NAEP reading framework was changed in 2009 to "adhere" to the demands of Bill Gates and his Common Core assault, which was paying Coleman and his tiny band of non-educators to come up with a national curriculum that would better align with multinational corporate needs for a never-ending stream of faceless and soulless technocrats who just as soon read a McKinsey employee manual as Madame Bovary:
Most interesting, too, is the fact that Susan Pimentel, who functioned as David Coleman's right hand during the writing of Common Core, was sitting on the NAEP Governing Board at the same time the NAEP reading framework was changed to fit the Gates agenda!  Small world, isn't it?

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