Saturday, August 13, 2011

Common Core Training Treats Literature Like Pop Songs

I think this is a a sign I'm old.  I love albums; remember those?  Some are famous: The White Album or Boy.  Others, Flat as a Pancake, may have been forgotten unless one is of a certain age. Still others, Martinis and Bikinis, appeal to a small fan base. 

In addition to being old, I'm cantankerous; some might even call me a curmudgeon.  It seems to me that most current music is designed to get put on compilations like Now 39.  A song needs only a catchy hook and melody that can become an earworm; the song doesn't have to be an integral part of a larger composition.

Some education reformers apparently believe that the Common Core standards mean that literature teachers should treat literature like pop music.  The whole no longer matters; teachers should just use snippets to achieve the standards:
I attended a 2-day Common Core training sponsored by the NC Dept of Ed. In the English Language Arts (ELA) workshop, we were told that one of the GREAT things about the common core was that we no longer should teach entire novels. Snippets and targeted short passages from novels were all we needed to teach ELA concepts. There was an audible, collective gasp from the people in the room. But I was the only one who raised my hand and questioned this pronouncement. And the trainers continued to tout the wonders of using shorter texts.
I don't know what Melody Schopp has in mind as South Dakota begins to implement Common Core.  Given that textbook companies write many of the tests that states use, it strikes me as probable that South Dakota may look at adopting some of the training that North Carolina uses.

Schopp wants to emphasize STEM, so she may put reading and literature on the back burner.  I hope she understands that treating literature like a Britney Spears song won't help teachers teach or students improve their reading.

2 comments:

yanktonirishred said...

Curmudgeon.

I love my vinyl.

Did you see where I not only got taken to task but vilified by name in the Graphic Novel threads at the Tempered Radical?

I love being that guy in this case!

Shane

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