New school classics: ‘Executive Order 13423’ to replace Hemmingway


studentsinclassroomIf the Obama administration has its way, education’s “Race to the Top” will turn into a fall to the bottom.

The Common Core Standards Initiative is getting support in its effort to standardize education curricula nationwide from billions of dollars in funding from the Obama administration’s “Race to the Top” grants, according to a Fox News report. And what’s being proposed is laughable.

For centuries, teachers have combined reading comprehension with an appreciation for the classics through English literature classes. If Common Core and “Race to the Top” succeed, that is all about to change.

Instead of reading Hemmingway’s “For Whom The Bell Tolls,” students may be wading through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Rather than studying the rich language of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” they’ll be able to finally dig into Obama’s “Executive Order 13423: Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management.”

Fox News’ Lindsey Burke wrote:

Eschewing great literature for ghastly technical reports doesn’t make much sense to those charged with getting young people to read—hopefully with some degree of enthusiasm. And there’s a total lack of research suggesting that education will be advanced by a forced march to Executive Orders.

The University of Arkansas’ Sandra Stotsky argues that an emphasis on informational texts actually prevents children from acquiring “a rich understanding and use of the English language” and “may lead to a decreased capacity for analytical thinking.” Dry government documents such as those recommended in the Common Core’s are “hardly the kind of material to exhibit ambiguity, subtlety, and irony,” she observes.

The plan is to ease students into the learning format by requiring that a certain amount of their reading material be “informational text,” from 25 percent for kindergartners to 75 percent for high school seniors.

Hmm, bet they can’t wait to delve into the Internal Revenue Code.

If we want our students to comprehend and appreciate the richness of the English language, we should continue the time-honored tradition of exposing them to literature, not the stilted nomenclature of some coffee-addled bureaucrat penned in the dead of night.

Read more at Fox News.


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