In response to:

The Role of 'Educators'

carole28 Wrote: Jan 08, 2013 12:14 PM
"What exactly meets the definition of informational texts? Among those recommended on the national standards list [include] The Federal Reserve Bank's 'FedViews,' 'The Evolution of the Grocery Bag,' and 'Health Care Costs in McAllen, Texas,' ... also, that GSA classic: 'Executive Order 13423: Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management.'" Anyone with a quarter of a brain and any knowledge whatsoever of teenagers would recognize that "getting young people to read -- hopefully with some degree of enthusiasm" cannot be achieved by giving them material which is dry and boring and lacking in the ambiguity, subtlety, and irony which characterize great literature. As the article by Lindsey M. Burke explains,...
Reginald10 Wrote: Jan 08, 2013 2:06 PM
Oh, for goodness' sake. That roster of dystopian fantasies will drive off any intelligent youth upon whom the sun shines. Try reading Rudyard Kipling, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie; Issac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, John Wood Campbell. . .

Good stuff, worth reading, positive reinforcement for the ones who read them!
carole28 Wrote: Jan 08, 2013 12:38 PM
States can opt out by not taking federal money, but how many states will actually do that? Columnist Alexandra Petri refers to the Common Core as "the great Purge of Literature." If I hadn't already retired, this would make me do so. In my wildest imagination, I never thought any government would come up with such a bizarre and useless idea. However, that was before O!
carole28 Wrote: Jan 08, 2013 12:34 PM
I simply can't imagine a world in which Vonnegut's "Harrison Bergeron" or Orwell's "1984," "Animal Farm," and Huxley's "Brave New World" aren't taught. As Burke says, though, "No need for kids to be reading these books, anyway. They'll be living them." What about not experiencing Austen, Dickens, Salinger, Fitzgerald, Wharton, Joyce, Harper Lee, Shakespeare? These authors and millions more address the human condition and allow kids the opportunity to talk about what makes us human, what makes us good and evil, what influences our behavior, and so much more.
carole28 Wrote: Jan 08, 2013 12:29 PM
"Fiction authors try to describe phenomena in a way they haven't been described before. They use figurative language to convey abstract ideas. These are writers who create art and expression in a way that tackles difficult philosophical questions in a palpable format; in a way that gets to the root of all things. This is a kind of reflection that trains citizens capable of self-government.
Many years ago, as a young man, I read a very interesting book about the rise of the Communists to power in China. In the last chapter, the author tried to explain why and how this had happened.

Among the factors he cited were the country's educators. That struck me as odd, and not very plausible, at the time. But the passing years have made that seem less and less odd, and more and more plausible. Today, I see our own educators playing a similar role in creating a mindset that undermines American society.

Schools were once thought of as places where a...