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US Schools To Become Even More Dystopian

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MadBasstid
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Founded: Jan 27, 2012
Ex-Nation

Postby MadBasstid » Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:08 pm

Caninope wrote:
MadBasstid wrote:
My impression of the book is that it was quite astute. It certainly rang true to my own high school experience, & I've heard the same from my friends who are high school teachers. The purpose of the book is to examine problems with the text books used by public school students, & it does just that' the author is very upfront about his personal reasons for writing the book. IMHO he does a fantastic job at pointing out how history is not properly taught in the public school system; ie, how students are not taught to see history as something that is debatable. It's not a very controversial premise, most educators you talk to agree, & all points made are backed up with evidence. The work is updated regularly & cites its' sources. Even if you ultimately find you disagree with some of the points being made, it's still a worthwhile read as it presents some interesting things to think about.

My problem isn't with it's sources or with it's fundamental premise.

My problems are with his fallacious reasoning that he sometimes resorts to (including nearly bashing every other textbook, who are constrained in the scope they can devote to any one event) and the high and mighty attitude he sometimes resorts too.

I'd be much more likely to recommend Zinn, and this is coming from conservative.


lol, dude, high school text books are fuckin' garbage. They deserve to be bashed.

...anyways, I didn't get that impression at all. I just found it an interesting read that rang true, & I didn't find any inaccuracies when I fact-checked it myself- Helen Keller was LEGIT a commie, lol. If you don't like the author's tone, that's fine- everybody has different tastes. Whatever floats your boat. I happen to rather dislike Zinn- but I think people should read him. People should read different books, see what they like, challenge themselves with arguments they may not agree with, see what other people are reading. IT's all good. As for this particular book, I liked it, I found it interesting, I think it brings up a lot of things a lot of people don't know, fact-check came out clean, so I recommend it.
Last edited by MadBasstid on Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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EnragedMaldivians
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Postby EnragedMaldivians » Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:08 pm

The Skyheld wrote:It's an attempt at being surprisingly intelligent. But it's stupid anyway so while the following image does not really apply, I'll post it anyway.

(Image)


On behalf of my American friends:

:roll:
Taking a break.

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Caninope
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Founded: Nov 26, 2008
Capitalizt

Postby Caninope » Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:10 pm

EnragedMaldivians wrote:
The Skyheld wrote:It's an attempt at being surprisingly intelligent. But it's stupid anyway so while the following image does not really apply, I'll post it anyway.

(Image)


On behalf of my American friends:

:roll:

Now, now.

EM, I say this with all the love that a white, American foreign relations doppelganger can.

You can't be friends with an American. You're from a 100% Muslim country. :p
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Me wrote:Just don't. It'll get you a whole lot further in life if you come to realize you're not the smartest guy in the room, even if you probably are.

Because Caninope may be in that room with you.
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Potlimitomaha
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Postby Potlimitomaha » Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:11 pm

Grand Britannia wrote:
Ahnilunia wrote:
Goodthink Ingsoc. Oceania doubleplusgood. Oldthinkers unbellyfeel Ingsoc.


Oldthinkers ungood.





When did this thread descend into 1984?
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Hatsunia
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Hatsunia » Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:12 pm

Potlimitomaha wrote:
Grand Britannia wrote:
Oldthinkers ungood.





When did this thread descend into 1984?

Since "Dystopian" was in the title.
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Caninope
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Capitalizt

Postby Caninope » Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:13 pm

MadBasstid wrote:lol, dude, high school text books are fuckin' garbage. They deserve to be bashed.

While The American Pageant wasn't great reading, it got me a 5 on the AP Exam, and an 800 on the SAT II. Why? Because it had the information. Was it perfect? No. Did it leave things out? Yes. Why? No one can put everything in a book, hence the role of things like A People's History, to supplement the reading.
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Türkçe öğreniyorum ama zorluk var.
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Agritum wrote:Arg, Caninope is Captain America under disguise. Everyone knows it.
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Me wrote:Just don't. It'll get you a whole lot further in life if you come to realize you're not the smartest guy in the room, even if you probably are.

Because Caninope may be in that room with you.
Nightkill the Emperor wrote:Thankfully, we have you and EM to guide us to wisdom and truth, holy one. :p
Norstal wrote:What I am saying of course is that we should clone Caninope.

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Halloween S and M Gremlins
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Ex-Nation

Postby Halloween S and M Gremlins » Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:15 pm

Doesn't matter what they teach in school. Makes no difference. Its all just indoctrination. Might as well abolish the school system.

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Cannot think of a name
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Postby Cannot think of a name » Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:17 pm

How not to cover a story, by The Telegraph...

First, overstate the story right off the bat with the headline:
Catcher in the Rye dropped from US school curriculum
Schools in America are to drop classic books such as Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird and JD Salinger's Catcher in the Rye from their curriculum in favour of 'informational texts'.

You'd think the more widely praised and sort of classroom standard To Kill a Mockingbird would have been the headline, wouldn't you? I mean, after all, Catcher in the Rye often appears on 'banned' book lists, so this hardly seems like much of a change.

So why lead with that? Why lead with a book about angst and 'phonies', a sort of angry creed at authority being banned? Hmm?

Alright, so we've sold a story to an audience, now lets give them what they want to hear:
American literature classics are to be replaced by insulation manuals and plant inventories in US classrooms by 2014.

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 Standards.

That's horrifying, says the Salinger fans outraged that their classic is being once again banned but this is a totally new story. Hey, who is the Common Core State Standards? I don't know. Sounds official, those bastards.
The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a state-led effort coordinated by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). The standards were developed in collaboration with teachers, school administrators, and experts, to provide a clear and consistent framework to prepare our children for college and the workforce.

The NGA Center and CCSSO received initial feedback on the draft standards from national organizations representing, but not limited to, teachers, postsecondary educators (including community colleges), civil rights groups, English language learners, and students with disabilities. Following the initial round of feedback, the draft standards were opened for public comment, receiving nearly 10,000 responses.

The standards are informed by the highest, most effective models from states across the country and countries around the world, and provide teachers and parents with a common understanding of what students are expected to learn. Consistent standards will provide appropriate benchmarks for all students, regardless of where they live.

These standards define the knowledge and skills students should have within their K-12 education careers so that they will graduate high school able to succeed in entry-level, credit-bearing academic college courses and in workforce training programs. The standards:

Are aligned with college and work expectations;
  • Are clear, understandable and consistent;
  • Include rigorous content and application of knowledge through high-order skills;
  • Build upon strengths and lessons of current state standards;
  • Are informed by other top performing countries, so that all students are prepared to succeed in our global economy and society; and
  • Are evidence-based.

Well, certainly was expecting a lot more smoke filled room there, but now I know. And knowing, well that's just not part of writing a horrible article.

Next step:
Suggested 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.

Scan the list and give the two most out of context silly sounding suggestions as if these two books were chosen to specifically replace Catcher in the Rye and To Kill a Mockingbird. Now I'm well and truly outraged at this thing I barely understand. Hey, lets find out what some random junior high school teacher thinks:
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?"

Well, what the Telegraph tells us of what the teacher told the Times seems nice and vague enough for us all to agree on, good things are good and bad things are bad. About the specific standards and their effect or how they are applied? Um...

Well, now we heard from Arkansas' Junior High Teacher quoted and all, lets hear from the Standards supporters:
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.

Well, not directly, let's sum up what we think they're trying to say. No need to use quotes, we heard from a Woodland Jr. High teacher. Through the Times.

Is there a link to the Times? God no. They might have written an actual article on the subject.

Googling these organizations to find out 'what the fuck' you know what I did find? The ratio they talked about. It's in a pdf on literary standards from the organizations website.

By 12th grade, in fact, the ratio is correct, 70% informational, 30% literary. It starts off 50/50 in 6th grade, 55/45 by 8th.

But you know what it says under that graph?
Source: National Assessment Governing Board. (2008). Reading framework for the 2009 National Assess- ment of Educational Progress. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

So...what they reported on, that's not a change. That's been like that since at least 2009. They, like me because this is a forum post so, you know, I have a stumble button that needs hitting, scanned the reading requirements, saw that chart, and printed the most "horrifying" part. But unlike me, they did not look to see what that chart's source was or what it actually referred to.

Oh, and here's an interesting tidbit:
The Standards aim to align instruction with this framework so that many more students than at present can meet the requirements of college and career readiness. In K–5, the Standards follow NAEP’s lead in balancing the reading of literature with the reading of informational texts, including texts in history/ social studies, science, and technical subjects. In accord with NAEP’s growing emphasis on informational texts in the higher grades, the Standards demand that a significant amount of reading of informational texts take place in and outside the ELA classroom. Fulfilling the Standards for 6–12 ELA requires much greater attention to a specific category of informational text—literary nonfiction—than has been traditional. Because the ELA classroom must focus on literature (stories, drama, and poetry) as well as literary nonfiction, a great deal of informational reading in grades 6–12 must take place in other classes if the NAEP assessment framework is to be matched instructionally.1 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.

Isn't that saying that the instructional material must be in classes where that is relevant? That's hardly what the headline suggests. No wonder they left that out.

I could not find the examples given in the text with a word search, maybe I suck at that, it's possible, but I did find this:
  • “Letter on Thomas Jefferson” by John Adams (1776)
  • Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave by
    Frederick Douglass (1845)
  • “Blood, Toil, Tears and Sweat: Address to Parliament on May 13th, 1940” by Winston Churchill (1940)
  • Harriet Tubman: Conductor on the Underground Railroad by Ann Petry (1955)
  • Travels with Charley: In Search of America by John Steinbeck (1962)
  • “Speech to the Second Virginia Convention” by Patrick Henry (1775)  “Farewell Address” by George Washington (1796)
  • “Gettysburg Address” by Abraham Lincoln (1863) 
  • “State of the Union Address” by Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1941)
  • “Letter from Birmingham Jail” by Martin Luther King, Jr. (1964)  “Hope, Despair and Memory” by Elie Wiesel (1997)
  • Common Sense by Thomas Paine (1776)
  • Walden by Henry David Thoreau (1854)  “Society and Solitude” by Ralph Waldo Emerson (1857)
  • “The Fallacy of Success” by G. K. Chesterton (1909)
  • Black Boy by Richard Wright (1945)
  • “Politics and the English Language” by George Orwell (1946)
  • “Take the Tortillas Out of Your Poetry” by Rudolfo Anaya (1995)

Those are the informative texts. Shocking. What literary value can be gleaned from Henry David Thoreau and John Steinbeck.
Oh, and this:
Given space limitations, the illustrative texts listed above are meant only to show individual titles that are representative of a range of topics and genres. (See Appendix B for excerpts of these and other texts illustrative of grades 6–12 text complexity, quality, and range.) At a curricular or instructional level, within and across grade levels, texts need to be selected around topics or themes that generate knowledge and allow students to study those topics or themes in depth.

Couldn't find anything on taking out To Kill a Mockingbird anywhere.

So, the report contains information that is mislabeled and misrepresented, I'm shocked and scared and clearly don't know what's actually going on.

And that is how not to write an article, by The Telegraph.
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Meryuma
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Founded: Jul 16, 2010
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Meryuma » Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:18 pm

EnragedMaldivians wrote:
Meryuma wrote:
:palm: I'm 16. I have been for most of my life.

Anyways, even if the story is exaggerated, it still represents a disturbing trend towards education being stripped of artistic and intellectual qualities due to the increasing prioritization of work.


See Caninope's post.

Literature

“The Canterbury Tales,” by Geoffrey Chaucer

“The Great Gatsby,” by F. Scott Fitzgerald

“As I Lay Dying,” by William Faulkner

Informational Texts

“Common Sense,” by Thomas Paine

The Declaration of Independence, by Thomas Jefferson

“Declaration of Sentiments,” by the Seneca Falls Conference

“What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?” by Frederick Douglass

“Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences,” by John Allen Paulos

“Working Knowledge: Electronic Stability Control,” by Mark Fischetti

“Politics and the English Language,” by George Orwell


It's not that bad. With regard to the underlined, that's still massive exaggeration.


How can my underlined statement be a massive exaggeration when it's qualitative rather than quantitative?

That actually does seem like a pretty good list. I still don't like the increasing prioritization of work and dismissive attitude towards the arts this represents.
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Potlimitomaha
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Ex-Nation

Postby Potlimitomaha » Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:20 pm

Halloween S and M Gremlins wrote:Doesn't matter what they teach in school. Makes no difference. Its all just indoctrination. Might as well abolish the school system.





THe only people who don't use a school system of some sort are rich religious radicals who want to go back 400 years. I.E 100% impossible.
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Cannot think of a name
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Postby Cannot think of a name » Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:22 pm

Caninope wrote:I just hate that reading list, especially all that nonfiction junk!

I mean really. Common Sense? Unoriginal, and lifeless. Thomas Jefferson? He's a horrible writer, we'd be much better off reading an obscure work of John Donne's obviously (and for the record, Donne is my favorite metaphysical poet).

George Orwell? What does he know about the English language? Pfft. All he did was shoot an elephant, have rats shoved upon some poor shod for making love with a woman, and teach pigs to have double chins.

The best ninjas, apparently, ninja your ass before you even hit 'post reply'...curse my laziness...

Though I would have lead with this:
“There’s a disproportionate amount of anxiety,” said David Coleman, who led the effort to write the standards with a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Coleman said educators are misinterpreting the directives.

Yes, the standards do require increasing amounts of nonfiction from kindergarten through grade 12, Coleman said. But that refers to reading across all subjects, not just in English class, he said. Teachers in social studies, science and math should require more reading, which would allow English teachers to continue to assign literature, he said.

Social studies teachers, for example, could have students read the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter From a Birmingham Jail,” while math students could read Euclid’s “Elements” from 300 B.C.
Last edited by Cannot think of a name on Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Potlimitomaha
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Postby Potlimitomaha » Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:22 pm

Caninope wrote:
EnragedMaldivians wrote:
On behalf of my American friends:

:roll:

Now, now.

EM, I say this with all the love that a white, American foreign relations doppelganger can.

You can't be friends with an American. You're from a 100% Muslim country. :p






Hate-filled Islamophobia. Anyone can be be friends with anyone. You have no idea what the guy is like. You might actually have a lot in common.
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Halloween S and M Gremlins
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Founded: Nov 20, 2012
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Postby Halloween S and M Gremlins » Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:23 pm

Cannot think of a name wrote:How not to cover a story, by The Telegraph...
First, overstate the story right off the bat with the headline:
Catcher in the Rye dropped from US school curriculum
Schools in America are to drop classic books such as Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird and JD Salinger's Catcher in the Rye from their curriculum in favour of 'informational texts'.

You'd think the more widely praised and sort of classroom standard To Kill a Mockingbird would have been the headline, wouldn't you? I mean, after all, Catcher in the Rye often appears on 'banned' book lists, so this hardly seems like much of a change.

So why lead with that? Why lead with a book about angst and 'phonies', a sort of angry creed at authority being banned? Hmm?

Alright, so we've sold a story to an audience, now lets give them what they want to hear:
American literature classics are to be replaced by insulation manuals and plant inventories in US classrooms by 2014.

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 Standards.

That's horrifying, says the Salinger fans outraged that their classic is being once again banned but this is a totally new story. Hey, who is the Common Core State Standards? I don't know. Sounds official, those bastards.
The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a state-led effort coordinated by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). The standards were developed in collaboration with teachers, school administrators, and experts, to provide a clear and consistent framework to prepare our children for college and the workforce.

The NGA Center and CCSSO received initial feedback on the draft standards from national organizations representing, but not limited to, teachers, postsecondary educators (including community colleges), civil rights groups, English language learners, and students with disabilities. Following the initial round of feedback, the draft standards were opened for public comment, receiving nearly 10,000 responses.

The standards are informed by the highest, most effective models from states across the country and countries around the world, and provide teachers and parents with a common understanding of what students are expected to learn. Consistent standards will provide appropriate benchmarks for all students, regardless of where they live.

These standards define the knowledge and skills students should have within their K-12 education careers so that they will graduate high school able to succeed in entry-level, credit-bearing academic college courses and in workforce training programs. The standards:

Are aligned with college and work expectations;
  • Are clear, understandable and consistent;
  • Include rigorous content and application of knowledge through high-order skills;
  • Build upon strengths and lessons of current state standards;
  • Are informed by other top performing countries, so that all students are prepared to succeed in our global economy and society; and
  • Are evidence-based.

Well, certainly was expecting a lot more smoke filled room there, but now I know. And knowing, well that's just not part of writing a horrible article.

Next step:
Suggested 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.

Scan the list and give the two most out of context silly sounding suggestions as if these two books were chosen to specifically replace Catcher in the Rye and To Kill a Mockingbird. Now I'm well and truly outraged at this thing I barely understand. Hey, lets find out what some random junior high school teacher thinks:
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?"

Well, what the Telegraph tells us of what the teacher told the Times seems nice and vague enough for us all to agree on, good things are good and bad things are bad. About the specific standards and their effect or how they are applied? Um...

Well, now we heard from Arkansas' Junior High Teacher quoted and all, lets hear from the Standards supporters:
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.

Well, not directly, let's sum up what we think they're trying to say. No need to use quotes, we heard from a Woodland Jr. High teacher. Through the Times.

Is there a link to the Times? God no. They might have written an actual article on the subject.

Googling these organizations to find out 'what the fuck' you know what I did find? The ratio they talked about. It's in a pdf on literary standards from the organizations website.

By 12th grade, in fact, the ratio is correct, 70% informational, 30% literary. It starts off 50/50 in 6th grade, 55/45 by 8th.

But you know what it says under that graph?
Source: National Assessment Governing Board. (2008). Reading framework for the 2009 National Assess- ment of Educational Progress. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

So...what they reported on, that's not a change. That's been like that since at least 2009. They, like me because this is a forum post so, you know, I have a stumble button that needs hitting, scanned the reading requirements, saw that chart, and printed the most "horrifying" part. But unlike me, they did not look to see what that chart's source was or what it actually referred to.

Oh, and here's an interesting tidbit:
The Standards aim to align instruction with this framework so that many more students than at present can meet the requirements of college and career readiness. In K–5, the Standards follow NAEP’s lead in balancing the reading of literature with the reading of informational texts, including texts in history/ social studies, science, and technical subjects. In accord with NAEP’s growing emphasis on informational texts in the higher grades, the Standards demand that a significant amount of reading of informational texts take place in and outside the ELA classroom. Fulfilling the Standards for 6–12 ELA requires much greater attention to a specific category of informational text—literary nonfiction—than has been traditional. Because the ELA classroom must focus on literature (stories, drama, and poetry) as well as literary nonfiction, a great deal of informational reading in grades 6–12 must take place in other classes if the NAEP assessment framework is to be matched instructionally.1 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.

Isn't that saying that the instructional material must be in classes where that is relevant? That's hardly what the headline suggests. No wonder they left that out.

I could not find the examples given in the text with a word search, maybe I suck at that, it's possible, but I did find this:
  • “Letter on Thomas Jefferson” by John Adams (1776)
  • Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave by
    Frederick Douglass (1845)
  • “Blood, Toil, Tears and Sweat: Address to Parliament on May 13th, 1940” by Winston Churchill (1940)
  • Harriet Tubman: Conductor on the Underground Railroad by Ann Petry (1955)
  • Travels with Charley: In Search of America by John Steinbeck (1962)
  • “Speech to the Second Virginia Convention” by Patrick Henry (1775)  “Farewell Address” by George Washington (1796)
  • “Gettysburg Address” by Abraham Lincoln (1863) 
  • “State of the Union Address” by Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1941)
  • “Letter from Birmingham Jail” by Martin Luther King, Jr. (1964)  “Hope, Despair and Memory” by Elie Wiesel (1997)
  • Common Sense by Thomas Paine (1776)
  • Walden by Henry David Thoreau (1854)  “Society and Solitude” by Ralph Waldo Emerson (1857)
  • “The Fallacy of Success” by G. K. Chesterton (1909)
  • Black Boy by Richard Wright (1945)
  • “Politics and the English Language” by George Orwell (1946)
  • “Take the Tortillas Out of Your Poetry” by Rudolfo Anaya (1995)

Those are the informative texts. Shocking. What literary value can be gleaned from Henry David Thoreau and John Steinbeck.
Oh, and this:
Given space limitations, the illustrative texts listed above are meant only to show individual titles that are representative of a range of topics and genres. (See Appendix B for excerpts of these and other texts illustrative of grades 6–12 text complexity, quality, and range.) At a curricular or instructional level, within and across grade levels, texts need to be selected around topics or themes that generate knowledge and allow students to study those topics or themes in depth.

Couldn't find anything on taking out To Kill a Mockingbird anywhere.

So, the report contains information that is mislabeled and misrepresented, I'm shocked and scared and clearly don't know what's actually going on.

And that is how not to write an article, by The Telegraph.

That was incredible. Very well done. +1.
Last edited by Ardchoille on Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Neo Arcad » Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:23 pm

Avenio wrote:How bizarre. One would think that being able to read and interpret writing, a la in an English class, would be a useful practical skill to teach students.


A useful practical skill that would prevent state-sponsored indoctrination. That's why it has to go. Already, the critical thinking skills of most people my age are horrifically stunted, as is their intellectual development. It doesn't need to get worse.

EDIT: WHOOPS SHIT I BROKE THE FORUM
Last edited by Neo Arcad on Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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NSLV wrote:Introducing the new political text from acclaimed author/yak, NEO ARCAD, an exploration of nuclear power in the Middle East and Asia, "Nuclear Penis: He Won't Call You Again".

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Postby Ashmoria » Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:25 pm

Cannot think of a name wrote:
How not to cover a story, by The Telegraph...

First, overstate the story right off the bat with the headline:
Catcher in the Rye dropped from US school curriculum
Schools in America are to drop classic books such as Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird and JD Salinger's Catcher in the Rye from their curriculum in favour of 'informational texts'.

You'd think the more widely praised and sort of classroom standard To Kill a Mockingbird would have been the headline, wouldn't you? I mean, after all, Catcher in the Rye often appears on 'banned' book lists, so this hardly seems like much of a change.

So why lead with that? Why lead with a book about angst and 'phonies', a sort of angry creed at authority being banned? Hmm?

Alright, so we've sold a story to an audience, now lets give them what they want to hear:
American literature classics are to be replaced by insulation manuals and plant inventories in US classrooms by 2014.

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 Standards.

That's horrifying, says the Salinger fans outraged that their classic is being once again banned but this is a totally new story. Hey, who is the Common Core State Standards? I don't know. Sounds official, those bastards.
The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a state-led effort coordinated by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). The standards were developed in collaboration with teachers, school administrators, and experts, to provide a clear and consistent framework to prepare our children for college and the workforce.

The NGA Center and CCSSO received initial feedback on the draft standards from national organizations representing, but not limited to, teachers, postsecondary educators (including community colleges), civil rights groups, English language learners, and students with disabilities. Following the initial round of feedback, the draft standards were opened for public comment, receiving nearly 10,000 responses.

The standards are informed by the highest, most effective models from states across the country and countries around the world, and provide teachers and parents with a common understanding of what students are expected to learn. Consistent standards will provide appropriate benchmarks for all students, regardless of where they live.

These standards define the knowledge and skills students should have within their K-12 education careers so that they will graduate high school able to succeed in entry-level, credit-bearing academic college courses and in workforce training programs. The standards:

Are aligned with college and work expectations;
  • Are clear, understandable and consistent;
  • Include rigorous content and application of knowledge through high-order skills;
  • Build upon strengths and lessons of current state standards;
  • Are informed by other top performing countries, so that all students are prepared to succeed in our global economy and society; and
  • Are evidence-based.

Well, certainly was expecting a lot more smoke filled room there, but now I know. And knowing, well that's just not part of writing a horrible article.

Next step:
Suggested 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.

Scan the list and give the two most out of context silly sounding suggestions as if these two books were chosen to specifically replace Catcher in the Rye and To Kill a Mockingbird. Now I'm well and truly outraged at this thing I barely understand. Hey, lets find out what some random junior high school teacher thinks:
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?"

Well, what the Telegraph tells us of what the teacher told the Times seems nice and vague enough for us all to agree on, good things are good and bad things are bad. About the specific standards and their effect or how they are applied? Um...

Well, now we heard from Arkansas' Junior High Teacher quoted and all, lets hear from the Standards supporters:
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.

Well, not directly, let's sum up what we think they're trying to say. No need to use quotes, we heard from a Woodland Jr. High teacher. Through the Times.

Is there a link to the Times? God no. They might have written an actual article on the subject.

Googling these organizations to find out 'what the fuck' you know what I did find? The ratio they talked about. It's in a pdf on literary standards from the organizations website.

By 12th grade, in fact, the ratio is correct, 70% informational, 30% literary. It starts off 50/50 in 6th grade, 55/45 by 8th.

But you know what it says under that graph?
Source: National Assessment Governing Board. (2008). Reading framework for the 2009 National Assess- ment of Educational Progress. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

So...what they reported on, that's not a change. That's been like that since at least 2009. They, like me because this is a forum post so, you know, I have a stumble button that needs hitting, scanned the reading requirements, saw that chart, and printed the most "horrifying" part. But unlike me, they did not look to see what that chart's source was or what it actually referred to.

Oh, and here's an interesting tidbit:
The Standards aim to align instruction with this framework so that many more students than at present can meet the requirements of college and career readiness. In K–5, the Standards follow NAEP’s lead in balancing the reading of literature with the reading of informational texts, including texts in history/ social studies, science, and technical subjects. In accord with NAEP’s growing emphasis on informational texts in the higher grades, the Standards demand that a significant amount of reading of informational texts take place in and outside the ELA classroom. Fulfilling the Standards for 6–12 ELA requires much greater attention to a specific category of informational text—literary nonfiction—than has been traditional. Because the ELA classroom must focus on literature (stories, drama, and poetry) as well as literary nonfiction, a great deal of informational reading in grades 6–12 must take place in other classes if the NAEP assessment framework is to be matched instructionally.1 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.

Isn't that saying that the instructional material must be in classes where that is relevant? That's hardly what the headline suggests. No wonder they left that out.

I could not find the examples given in the text with a word search, maybe I suck at that, it's possible, but I did find this:
  • “Letter on Thomas Jefferson” by John Adams (1776)
  • Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave by
    Frederick Douglass (1845)
  • “Blood, Toil, Tears and Sweat: Address to Parliament on May 13th, 1940” by Winston Churchill (1940)
  • Harriet Tubman: Conductor on the Underground Railroad by Ann Petry (1955)
  • Travels with Charley: In Search of America by John Steinbeck (1962)
  • “Speech to the Second Virginia Convention” by Patrick Henry (1775)  “Farewell Address” by George Washington (1796)
  • “Gettysburg Address” by Abraham Lincoln (1863) 
  • “State of the Union Address” by Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1941)
  • “Letter from Birmingham Jail” by Martin Luther King, Jr. (1964)  “Hope, Despair and Memory” by Elie Wiesel (1997)
  • Common Sense by Thomas Paine (1776)
  • Walden by Henry David Thoreau (1854)  “Society and Solitude” by Ralph Waldo Emerson (1857)
  • “The Fallacy of Success” by G. K. Chesterton (1909)
  • Black Boy by Richard Wright (1945)
  • “Politics and the English Language” by George Orwell (1946)
  • “Take the Tortillas Out of Your Poetry” by Rudolfo Anaya (1995)

Those are the informative texts. Shocking. What literary value can be gleaned from Henry David Thoreau and John Steinbeck.
Oh, and this:
Given space limitations, the illustrative texts listed above are meant only to show individual titles that are representative of a range of topics and genres. (See Appendix B for excerpts of these and other texts illustrative of grades 6–12 text complexity, quality, and range.) At a curricular or instructional level, within and across grade levels, texts need to be selected around topics or themes that generate knowledge and allow students to study those topics or themes in depth.

Couldn't find anything on taking out To Kill a Mockingbird anywhere.

So, the report contains information that is mislabeled and misrepresented, I'm shocked and scared and clearly don't know what's actually going on.

And that is how not to write an article, by The Telegraph.


you must be bored.

i said "if you look at the core curriculum page you will find its bullshit"

same same.
whatever

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Northwest Slobovia
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Postby Northwest Slobovia » Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:27 pm

Caninope wrote:Maybe you should learn to read the whole article, because 70% of English class will not be nonfiction, it will be 70% of school reading.

Your Source wrote:Yes, the standards do require increasing amounts of nonfiction from kindergarten through grade 12, Coleman said. But that refers to reading across all subjects, not just in English class, he said. Teachers in social studies, science and math should require more reading, which would allow English teachers to continue to assign literature, he said.

I did: "Coleman" is the head of the organization who came up with the standards. Based on the presentation of the article, I took his comments to be his opinion, in contrast to opinions of the teachers who have to obey his mad edicts. It's not that hard to imagine that the guy responsible for a controversial decision would want to soft-pedal it or even *gasp* lie through his teeth about it.

However, having read his organization's standards document -- Oooh! Primary sources! -- I see that it's correct:
In K–5, the Standards follow NAEP’s lead in balancing the reading of literature with the reading of informational texts, including texts in history/social studies, science, and technical subjects. In accord with NAEP’s growing emphasis on informational texts in the higher grades, the Standards demand that a significant amount of reading of informational texts take place in and outside the ELA [English Language Arts] classroom. Fulfilling the Standards for 6–12 ELA requires much greater attention to a specific category of informational text—literary nonfiction—than has been traditional. Because the ELA classroom must focus on literature (stories, drama, and poetry) as well as literary nonfiction, a great deal of informational reading in grades 6–12 must take place in other classes if the NAEP assessment framework is to be matched instructionally.1

...

1The percentages on the table reflect the sum of student reading, not just reading in ELA settings. Teachers of senior English classes, for example, are not required to devote 70 percent of reading to informational texts. Rather, 70 percent of student reading across the grade should be informational.

(page 5)

So, now I'm puzzled: it doesn't seem that reading 70% non-fiction should be all that hard if we're including all the "non-fiction" classes anyway... or why English teachers are all that bothered by it.* I guess I'm baffled as to what the hell kids are (not) reading in school these days if that's not already true. (Where is Kat when we need her? ;) )

*: It sounds like a lot of teachers came to the same conclusion as most of us here did about their "English standards", which if that's not what they intend, they need to practice some of those communications skills they say are so important. ("'It does really concern me that these facts are not as clear as they should be,' [Coleman] said.")

'course, I still think the emphasis on fixed percentages of fiction vs non-fiction is badly misplaced, especially since the standards otherwise largely say "We're interested in what comes out, not what we put in.".

Edit: ...and beaten to the punch good and proper while I was cleaning my post up. :p
Last edited by Northwest Slobovia on Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Cannot think of a name
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Postby Cannot think of a name » Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:28 pm

Ashmoria wrote:
Cannot think of a name wrote:
How not to cover a story, by The Telegraph...

First, overstate the story right off the bat with the headline:

You'd think the more widely praised and sort of classroom standard To Kill a Mockingbird would have been the headline, wouldn't you? I mean, after all, Catcher in the Rye often appears on 'banned' book lists, so this hardly seems like much of a change.

So why lead with that? Why lead with a book about angst and 'phonies', a sort of angry creed at authority being banned? Hmm?

Alright, so we've sold a story to an audience, now lets give them what they want to hear:

That's horrifying, says the Salinger fans outraged that their classic is being once again banned but this is a totally new story. Hey, who is the Common Core State Standards? I don't know. Sounds official, those bastards.

Well, certainly was expecting a lot more smoke filled room there, but now I know. And knowing, well that's just not part of writing a horrible article.

Next step:

Scan the list and give the two most out of context silly sounding suggestions as if these two books were chosen to specifically replace Catcher in the Rye and To Kill a Mockingbird. Now I'm well and truly outraged at this thing I barely understand. Hey, lets find out what some random junior high school teacher thinks:

Well, what the Telegraph tells us of what the teacher told the Times seems nice and vague enough for us all to agree on, good things are good and bad things are bad. About the specific standards and their effect or how they are applied? Um...

Well, now we heard from Arkansas' Junior High Teacher quoted and all, lets hear from the Standards supporters:

Well, not directly, let's sum up what we think they're trying to say. No need to use quotes, we heard from a Woodland Jr. High teacher. Through the Times.

Is there a link to the Times? God no. They might have written an actual article on the subject.

Googling these organizations to find out 'what the fuck' you know what I did find? The ratio they talked about. It's in a pdf on literary standards from the organizations website.

By 12th grade, in fact, the ratio is correct, 70% informational, 30% literary. It starts off 50/50 in 6th grade, 55/45 by 8th.

But you know what it says under that graph?

So...what they reported on, that's not a change. That's been like that since at least 2009. They, like me because this is a forum post so, you know, I have a stumble button that needs hitting, scanned the reading requirements, saw that chart, and printed the most "horrifying" part. But unlike me, they did not look to see what that chart's source was or what it actually referred to.

Oh, and here's an interesting tidbit:

Isn't that saying that the instructional material must be in classes where that is relevant? That's hardly what the headline suggests. No wonder they left that out.

I could not find the examples given in the text with a word search, maybe I suck at that, it's possible, but I did find this:

Those are the informative texts. Shocking. What literary value can be gleaned from Henry David Thoreau and John Steinbeck.
Oh, and this:

Couldn't find anything on taking out To Kill a Mockingbird anywhere.

So, the report contains information that is mislabeled and misrepresented, I'm shocked and scared and clearly don't know what's actually going on.

And that is how not to write an article, by The Telegraph.


you must be bored.

i said "if you look at the core curriculum page you will find its bullshit"

same same.

I little, yeah.
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Hatsunia
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Postby Hatsunia » Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:29 pm

All I want, is to not be required to analyze a vague and confusing poem. I'm fine with symbolism, metaphors, and all that, but not when it's something like Emily Dickenson's work.
(If you are a fan of Dickenson, I respect your opinion. I don't hate her, I just don't like poetry, that's all)
Last edited by Hatsunia on Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby EnragedMaldivians » Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:30 pm

Potlimitomaha wrote:
Caninope wrote:Now, now.

EM, I say this with all the love that a white, American foreign relations doppelganger can.

You can't be friends with an American. You're from a 100% Muslim country. :p


Hate-filled Islamophobia. Anyone can be be friends with anyone. You have no idea what the guy is like. You might actually have a lot in common.


Chill. Caninope's a online buddy of mine and we do share a lot in common (in fact I often post his opinions on things before he does, which kinda makes his presence on NSG redundant if you think about it :p ). He's just making light of the fact that I'm an atheist from a country with rising extremist tendencies.
Last edited by EnragedMaldivians on Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Northwest Slobovia
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Postby Northwest Slobovia » Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:30 pm

Cannot think of a name wrote:And that is how not to write an article, by The Telegraph.

The WaPo story (which appears to be where they got it from) is just as bad. It appears that it's a common misinterpretation... if that's what it really is. ;)
Last edited by Northwest Slobovia on Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Ashmoria
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Postby Ashmoria » Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:30 pm

Northwest Slobovia wrote:
So, now I'm puzzled: it doesn't seem that reading 70% non-fiction should be all that hard if we're including all the "non-fiction" classes anyway... or why English teachers are all that bothered by it.* I guess I'm baffled as to what the hell kids are (not) reading in school these days if that's not already true. (Where is Kat when we need her? ;) )



teachers are a large group of americans. that means that it will never take much looking to find one or two who are ill informed on this or any topic.
whatever

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Tel
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Postby Tel » Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:35 pm

It's things like these that make me proud of my governmenti'm being sarcastic.

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Postby Quebec and Atlantic Canada » Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:36 pm

Now that I think about it, isn't Catcher in the Rye the book that 90% of conspiracy theorists are obsessed with because they think it made Mark David Chapman go crazy and kill John Lennon or whatever?

You'd think this would slightly appease them...

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Cannot think of a name
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Postby Cannot think of a name » Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:36 pm

Northwest Slobovia wrote:
Cannot think of a name wrote:And that is how not to write an article, by The Telegraph.

The WaPo story (which appears to be where they got it from) is just as bad. It appears that it's a common misinterpretation... if that's what it really is. ;)

No it's not 'just as bad'...its headline doesn't stoke a particular interpretation using the writer's own supposition about what is going to be 'banned' but rather acknowledges there is some kerfuffle., and while in the new standard of just repeating what everyone says it gives the people freaking out the first say, it not only tells us who this organization is, but it also includes a quote from them explaining why the people freaking out are freaking out over nothing:
“There’s a disproportionate amount of anxiety,” said David Coleman, who led the effort to write the standards with a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Coleman said educators are misinterpreting the directives.

Yes, the standards do require increasing amounts of nonfiction from kindergarten through grade 12, Coleman said. But that refers to reading across all subjects, not just in English class, he said. Teachers in social studies, science and math should require more reading, which would allow English teachers to continue to assign literature, he said.

Social studies teachers, for example, could have students read the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter From a Birmingham Jail,” while math students could read Euclid’s “Elements” from 300 B.C.


It even gives you where to find the standards from the original source document. It's not 'just as bad', it's like The Telegraphs polar opposite.
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Northwest Slobovia
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Postby Northwest Slobovia » Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:37 pm

Ashmoria wrote:
Northwest Slobovia wrote:
So, now I'm puzzled: it doesn't seem that reading 70% non-fiction should be all that hard if we're including all the "non-fiction" classes anyway... or why English teachers are all that bothered by it.* I guess I'm baffled as to what the hell kids are (not) reading in school these days if that's not already true. (Where is Kat when we need her? ;) )



teachers are a large group of americans. that means that it will never take much looking to find one or two who are ill informed on this or any topic.

But, by and large, public school teachers don't make up their curricula, they get them dictated from above, usually by their school board... which suggests other people are just as confused.
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