Saturday, December 08, 2012

Why Can't Wingnuts Read?

 Over at Depends Media, Rick Moran's XXL adult undergarments are in a twist:
What is it about the liberal education monolith that so despises our cultural heritage? The bastardization of our history, the assault on values, the trivialization of profound truths that have defined western civilization for 500 years — there is a price to be paid in developing incomplete citizens; ignorant of the arts and unaware of the giants on whose shoulders they are supposed to stand. 
What caused Rick to write that incomplete run-on sentence?  This article at the U.K. Telegraph website, which originated from God knows where:
A new school curriculum which will affect 46 out of 50 states will make it compulsory for at least 70 per cent of books studied to be non-fiction, in an effort to ready pupils for the workplace.
Books such as JD Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye and Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird will be replaced by “informational texts” approved by the Common Core State StandardsSuggested non-fiction texts include Recommended Levels of Insulation by the the US Environmental Protection Agency, and the Invasive Plant Inventory, by California’s Invasive Plant Council.
The new educational standards have the backing of the influential National Governors’ Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, and are being part-funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Jamie Highfill, a teacher at Woodland Junior High School in Arkansas, told the Times that the directive was bad for a well-rounded education.
“I’m afraid we are taking out all imaginative reading and creativity in our English classes.
“In the end, education has to be about more than simply ensuring that kids can get a job. Isn’t it supposed to be about making well-rounded citizens?”
Supporters of the directive argue that it will help pupils to develop the ability to write concisely and factually, which will be more useful in the workplace than a knowledge of Shakespeare.
Now, if Moran had a brain and 30 seconds worth of curiosity, he could've found out what the Common Core State Standards Initiative had to say about its standards: 
The standards mandate certain critical types of content for all students, including classic myths and stories from around the world, foundational U.S. documents, seminal works of American literature, and the writings of Shakespeare. The standards appropriately defer the many remaining decisions about what and how to teach to states, districts, and schools.
Of course, Moran could have realized the article was bunk without ever leaving the Telegraph website. Mandating 70 percent of the total school curriculum be non-fiction (you know, history, math, science, homosexual indoctrination, &c.) doesn't mean the replacement of any particular book. It means that up to 30 percent of the curriculum can be fiction. It's hard to imagine any non-religious high school or junior high where more than 30 percent of the textbooks used in any school day are works of fiction.

A non-brain dead Moran would also realize that National Governors' Association, which is dominated by Republican governors, isn't part of the "liberal education monolith."
Anyone with third grader's critical thinking ability would question the credibility of an article published at the Telegraph's website, particularly when the article quotes someone speaking to "the Times."

This is the standard m.o. of the wingnut blogger.  Find an article that superficially supports one of your deepest prejudices, and cite the article as proof of your delusion without bothering to check if the article is accurate, or facially credible, or even if it actually supports your premise. 

Another one of the Initiative's standards states, "[t]he ability to write logical arguments based on substantive claims, sound reasoning, and relevant evidence is a cornerstone of the writing standards, with opinion writing—a basic form of argument—extending down into the earliest grades." Moran was out sick on the years that was taught.


Anonymous said...

I thought the wingnuts wanted Catcher in the Rye out of the curriculum because it contains the word "fuck".

aimai said...

Curriculum. Not Cirriculum. Other than that of course the whole thing is ridiculous. The incredible pushback against the arts and against a liberal arts education has its roots entirely on the right side of the aisle and in the corporatization of education--they've been cutting enrichment, art, p/e, dance, and orchestra for fucking ever in order to teach the "three rs" and whose fault is that? The fucking teach to the test, prepare me some wage slaves assholes.


Roger said...

But I also misspelled someone and curiosity -- so there!

(Now corrected.)

cara membuat crepes said...

Why Can't Wingnuts Read?