Thursday, November 28, 2013

How Common Core changes reading and damages knowledge of history

Many of the changes that are taking place in the teaching of reading are not designed to improve the abilities of readers, but to make it easier to have their essays based on that reading graded by machines.

Evidence of that is provided in an article by the Washington Post's Valerie Strauss, one of the best education writers in the country:

Imagine learning about the Gettysburg Address without a mention of the Civil War, the Battle of Gettysburg, or why President Abraham Lincoln had traveled to Pennsylvania to make the speech. That’s the way a Common Core State Standards “exemplar for instruction” — from a company founded by three main Core authors — says it should be taught to ninth and 10th graders.
The unit — “A Close Reading of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address“ — is designed for students to do a “close reading” of the address “with text-dependent questions” — but without historical context.
Check out the article. With this kind of reading assignment, we are virtually guaranteeing that we will have public school students with no understanding of our history or our government.

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