YDS: The Clare Spark Blog

January 5, 2013

The COMMON CORE Debate

common-core-standards-turtleSegments of the Right are correctly worried that the reading of government pamphlets will displace the classic works of English and American literature as currently taught in the schools. Some, including Pajamas Media and Fox News imagine that such “classics” as Orwell, Huxley, and Hemingway will disappear from the curriculum in favor of progressive propaganda as disseminated by the CORE STANDARDS, sometimes called Common Core.

What these popular rightist media fail to understand is 1. that for the standards to be enforced in every classroom, government surveillance would have to accomplish what may be impossible; i.e., a form of terror; and 2. that statist progressives have long dominated the teaching of literature and the humanities in general, twisting texts to elevate the “moderate” solution to social conflict. What these progressives want, like fascists before them, is acquiescence to state directives and the obliteration of extremism, whether the hotheads targeted are communists on the Left or laissez-faire capitalists on the Right.

Hence, the rightists and liberals who look askance on the wide state support for the Core Standards, fail to teach their followers how to recognize ideology in the arts, particularly those aspects of the humanities that appropriate past cultural artifacts for present-day partisan purposes. No political faction is innocent in this culture-deadening scenario.

The first nine references (very alarming)  below lay out the controversy over the Core Standards, which threaten to diminish literary texts in order to include readings in history and science. The professed aim of these “Standards” is to prepare high school students for life and work in the modern world. But the authors of the Core Standards neglect to acknowledge that the works chosen from history and science are likely to reinforce as true and normal what are in fact policy initiatives of the evermore left-leaning and incompetent Obama administration.  The next six links are my own research, published and unpublished, on the consensus of the moderate men in the teaching of American literature with the goal of managing or obliterating class or gender conflict. Their mutual aim is the substitution of scientific, materialist history by an organicist discourse that reunites master and man/ President and the “middle class” (including “the working class”). In other words, the teaching of English is already ideological. (And on the left and liberal left, teaching is generally fiercely averse to anything that smacks of Freudian analysis, with its emphasis on ambivalence, ambiguity, and uncertainty.)

Poe's Raven

Poe’s Raven

http://www.aim.org/special-report/terrorist-professor-bill-ayers-and-obamas-federal-school-curriculum/

http://pjmedia.com/blog/obamacore-radical-education-bill-set-to-take-effect-after-election/

http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2012/12/questionable-quality-of-the-common-core-english-language-arts-standards

http://www.manhattan-institute.org/html/miarticle.htm?id=9189#.Uhz1N53n-Uk

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/12/27/why-all-cool-kids-are-reading-executive-order-13423/#ixzz2GG1138K0

http://articles.latimes.com/2012/dec/27/opinion/la-ed-1227-fiction-20121227

http://www.pjtv.com/?cmd=mpg&aref=ur0&mpid=105&load=7882

http://www.corestandards.org/about-the-standards/myths-vs-facts

http://www.corestandards.org/the-standards

http://clarespark.com/2010/06/18/whaleness-2/

http://clarespark.com/2009/09/23/progressives-and-the-teaching-of-american-literature/

http://clarespark.com/2010/02/10/a-brooding-meditation-on-intimacy-and-distance/

http://clarespark.com/2009/11/22/on-literariness-and-the-ethical-state/

http://clarespark.com/2010/11/06/moderate-men-falling-down/

http://clarespark.com/2010/12/29/f-o-matthiessen-martyr-to-mccarthyism/

http://clarespark.com/2012/03/22/3760/ (The Great Dumbing Down in two parts)

http://clarespark.com/2013/01/05/the-gentlemanly-rochester-synod-1984-in-1948/

http://clarespark.com/2013/01/07/some-backstory-for-hunting-captain-ahab/

http://clarespark.com/2013/04/14/pretend-you-are-a-nazi/

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4 Comments »

  1. [...] Immediately above, I have compiled some of the stories about an assignment that asked three sophomore classes in English at Albany High School to pretend that the student was persuading a Nazi who had power over you, that you acquiesced in the core principle of Nazi propaganda: that Jews are evil. Subsequent to this assignment, students were to read Elie Wiesel’s memoir Night. (On Wiesel’s memoir, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_(book). On Wiesel’s generally conservative politics, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elie_Wiesel.)  According to one report, the “pretend you are a Nazi”assignment was a response to the Common Core curriculum mandated by the federal government that English students be able to write about problems usually taught in history classes. (I have written previously on the Common Core curriculum, noting its critics and adherents: http://clarespark.com/2013/01/05/american-fascism-and-the-future-of-english-and-american-literature/. [...]

    Pingback by Pretend you are a Nazi | YDS: The Clare Spark Blog — April 14, 2013 @ 5:55 pm | Reply

  2. Is that then “Obamamore”?

    Comment by Kate — January 18, 2013 @ 2:11 am | Reply

  3. Clare: You are a hard person to keep up with. This said, just exactly how many people do you know who have a clue of Edgers” raven?

    The descent into madness has a new name.

    It is not the raven, it is not the nevermore mantra into oblivion, the name is Obama.

    Comment by chukalukabus — January 9, 2013 @ 7:50 pm | Reply


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