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Mon Nov 26, 2012, 04:53 PM

 

Here's what your 10th-graders will be tested on under Common Core: Ovid

Last edited Mon Nov 26, 2012, 05:25 PM - Edit history (1)

This 10th grade test item is a sample of the type of passage provided by PARCC (The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, a consortium of 23 states plus the U.S. Virgin Islands), to assess student proficiency on the Common Cores State Standards. PARCC calls this a "grade-level complex literary text." Truth of the matter: They probably chose it because it's in the public domain and there's no reprint fee...

I wonder why PARCC doesn't see fit to inform the reader that the translation they're using to test students is the Brookes More translation, produced in 1922. I've posted a (more modern) prose translation by Mary Innes below....

PARCC offers no evidence showing how this educates and trains kids "better than anybody else in the world." What bothers me most of all about this as a test item is the kind of reading students will have to endure--starting in kindergarten-- to get ready for such a test.

Our U. S. Department of Education shelled out nearly $200 million of our tax dollars to PARCC to come up with this sort of thing.


Ovid's Metamorphoses : Daedalus and Icarus:
Translated by Brookes More, public domain


But Daedalus abhorred the Isle of Crete--
290 and his long exile on that sea-girt shore,
increased the love of his own native place.
"Though Minos blocks escape by sea and land."
He said, "The unconfined skies remain
though Minos may be lord of all the world
295 his sceptre is not regnant of the air,
and by that untried way is our escape."
This said, he turned his mind to arts unknown
and nature unrevealed. He fashioned quills
and feathers in due order -- deftly formed
300 from small to large, as any rustic pipe
prom straws unequal slants. He bound with thread
the middle feathers, and the lower fixed
with pliant wax; till so, in gentle curves
arranged, he bent them to the shape of birds.
305 While he was working, his son Icarus,
with smiling countenance and unaware
of danger to himself, perchance would chase
the feathers, ruffled by the shifting breeze,
or soften with his thumb the yellow wax,
310 and by his playfulness retard the work
his anxious father planned.
But when at last
the father finished it, he poised himself,
and lightly floating in the winnowed air
315 waved his great feathered wings with bird-like ease.
And, likewise he had fashioned for his son
such wings; before they ventured in the air
he said, "My son, I caution you to keep
the middle way, for if your pinions dip
320 too low the waters may impede your flight;
and if they soar too high the sun may scorch them.
Fly midway. Gaze not at the boundless sky,
far Ursa Major and Bootes next.
Nor on Orion with his flashing brand,
325 but follow my safe guidance."
As he spoke
he fitted on his son the plumed wings
with trembling hands, while down his withered cheeks
the tears were falling. Then he gave his son
330 a last kiss, and upon his gliding wings
assumed a careful lead solicitous.
As when the bird leads forth her tender young,
from high-swung nest to try the yielding air;
so he prevailed on willing Icarus;
335 encouraged and instructed him in a]l
the fatal art; and as he waved his wings
looked backward on his son.
Beneath their flight,
the fisherman while casting his long rod,
340 or the tired shepherd leaning on his crook,
or the rough plowman as he raised his eyes,
astonished might observe them on the wing,
and worship them as Gods.
Upon the left
345 they passed by Samos, Juno's sacred isle;
Delos and Paros too, were left behind;
and on the right Lebinthus and Calymne,
fruitful in honey. Proud of his success,
the foolish Icarus forsook his guide,
350 and, bold in vanity, began to soar,
rising upon his wings to touch the skies;
but as he neared the scorching sun, its heat
softened the fragrant wax that held his plumes;
and heat increasing melted the soft wax--
355 he waved his naked arms instead of wings,
with no more feathers to sustain his flight.
And as he called upon his father's name
his voice was smothered in the dark blue sea,
now called Icarian from the dead boy's name.
360 The unlucky father, not a father, called,
"Where are you, Icarus?" and "Where are you?
In what place shall I seek you, Icarus?"
He called again; and then he saw the wings
of his dear Icarus, floating on the waves;
365 and he began to rail and curse his art.
He found the body on an island shore,
now called Icaria, and at once prepared
to bury the unfortunate remains;
but while he labored a pert partridge near,
370 observed him from the covert of an oak,
and whistled his unnatural delight.
Know you the cause? 'Twas then a single bird,
the first one of its kind. 'Twas never seen
before the sister of Daedalus had brought
375 him Perdix, her dear son, to be his pupil.
And as the years went by the gifted youth
began to rival his instructor's art.
He took the jagged backbone of a fish,
and with it as a model made a saw,
380 with sharp teeth fashioned from a strip of iron.
And he was first to make two arms of iron,
smooth hinged upon the center, so that one
would make a pivot while the other, turned,
described a circle. Wherefore Daedalus
385 enraged and envious, sought to slay the youth
and cast him headlong from Minerva's fane,--
then spread the rumor of an accident.
But Pallas, goddess of ingenious men,
saving the pupil changed him to a bird,
390 and in the middle of the air he flew
on feathered wings; and so his active mind--
and vigor of his genius were absorbed
into his wings and feet; although the name
of Perdix was retained.
395 The Partridge hides
in shaded places by the leafy trees
its nested eggs among the bush's twigs;
nor does it seek to rise in lofty flight,
for it is mindful of its former fall.

http://susanohanian.blogspot.com/2012/11/heres-how-common-core-assessments-plan.html

here's the test on the passage:

http://www.parcconline.org/sites/parcc/files/GR%2010%20PARCC%20ELA%20Item%201_1.pdf

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Reply Here's what your 10th-graders will be tested on under Common Core: Ovid (Original post)
HiPointDem Nov 2012 OP
dmallind Nov 2012 #1
enlightenment Nov 2012 #5
pnwmom Nov 2012 #9
Posteritatis Nov 2012 #15
pnwmom Nov 2012 #20
intaglio Nov 2012 #94
pnwmom Nov 2012 #95
intaglio Nov 2012 #109
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Fla_Democrat Nov 2012 #18
HiPointDem Nov 2012 #32
aquart Nov 2012 #62
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enlightenment Nov 2012 #82
pnwmom Nov 2012 #84
Retrograde Nov 2012 #103
pnwmom Nov 2012 #108
Retrograde Nov 2012 #114
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anneboleyn Nov 2012 #137
anneboleyn Nov 2012 #136
HiPointDem Nov 2012 #142
anneboleyn Nov 2012 #135
Are_grits_groceries Nov 2012 #2
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HiPointDem Nov 2012 #48
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HereSince1628 Nov 2012 #19
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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 04:58 PM

1. What's wrong with Ovid? Perfectly reasonable component of a solid education in the humanities

Although some of his stuff might be a tad racy for some tastes. White flecked lips and straining thighs et. al.

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Response to dmallind (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 05:13 PM

5. Perfectly reasonable.

This translation is a bit labored, but not bad compared to some. I'm not sure what the complaint is about this. That it's dated?

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Response to enlightenment (Reply #5)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 05:21 PM

9. 99% of teens would find it boring and/or painful to read.

Why ruin reading for them?

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #9)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 05:27 PM

15. Yes, because having to think about one passage will destroy them for life.

Ugh, spare me.

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Response to Posteritatis (Reply #15)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 05:33 PM

20. No, it won't. But Ovid is overrated, as a teaching device anyway.

Sexist and misogynist to boot.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #20)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 02:42 AM

94. The same could be said of Shakespeare

with an added dose of Racism as well.

Your point is ... ?

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Response to intaglio (Reply #94)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 05:11 AM

95. How many plays of Shakespeare include 50 rapes?

But I agree that The Taming of the Shrew doesn't belong in public schools.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #95)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 03:48 PM

109. Neither does "Merchant" by those lights

Romeo and Juliet has underage sex (Romeo is about 15, Juliet 12) and gang fights; Hamlet has male/female mental torture, incest. Move on to the Bible and it should be locked into the restricted section of the library. Paintings are as bad - just think of the "Rape of the Sabine Women," by any artist.

The point here is not that you should restrict them from being taught but that the evil in them should be highlighted and condemned. In a way children have to learn that beauty is no reason to admire what is being depicted. My earliest lessons about the hatefulness of prejudice came from John Buchan and Rudyard Kipling.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #95)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 04:55 PM

115. that just makes me sad. It's a beautiful play

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #9)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 05:29 PM

18. Quite a few adults would, too









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Response to Fla_Democrat (Reply #18)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 05:59 PM

32. Dare I say "most"?

 

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #9)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 08:05 PM

62. If that's their reaction, reading is already ruined.

And they were taught both mythology and poetry by very bad teachers.

Of course, my first question would be, "This poem is thousands of years old. Why are we still reading it?" And let them tell me.

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Response to aquart (Reply #62)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 08:30 PM

65. Student: "Why are we reading Ovid's handbook on rape?"

50 rapes in one myth seems like a little much, but that's just me.



http://www.amazon.com/Why-Reading-Ovids-Handbook-Rape/dp/1594511039/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1353970128&sr=8-1&keywords=why+are+we+reading+ovid%27s+handbook

Why Are We Reading Ovid's Handbook on Rape? raises feminist issues in a way that reminds people why they matter. We eavesdrop on the vivid student characters in their hilarious, frustrating, and thought-provoking efforts to create strong and flexible selves against the background of representations of women in contemporary and classical Western literature. Young women working together in a group make surprising choices about what to learn, and how to go about learning it. Along the way they pose some provocative questions about how well traditional education serves women. Equally engaging is Kahn's own journey as she confronts questions that are fundamental to women, to teachers, to students and to parents: Why do we read? What can we teach? and What does gender have to do with it?

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Response to aquart (Reply #62)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:06 AM

79. not everyone has the same tastes in literature...

 

so No- "reading" would not be ruined for anyone, just because they don't agree with yours.

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Response to aquart (Reply #62)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 12:07 AM

140. since common core mandates that only 30% of texts taught in HS english can be literature,

 

including poetry (the rest must be 'informational' -- essays, newspaper articles, etc.) and since standardized testing is set to double or triple, reducing time for teaching anything, that discussion might take up a lot of your valuable literature time.

not to mention that ovid isn't on the 10th grade reading list.

yeah, everything's easy, until you actually have to do it within the strictures education deform is forcing you to operate within.

half of texts in elementary school must be 'informational'. won't that be fun for the kiddies?

i predict declining reading scores.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #9)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:35 AM

82. I think 99% is perhaps a bit overbaked.

I suspect that it might be more like half, if that.
I teach college history, so we don't read too many of the classics - but occasionally I'll have them read some shorter stories or excerpts. There is usually a handful who reject them, but I seriously doubt it ruins reading for them.

A friend teaches high school Literature and always includes them. She agrees that there are generally a handful that are unimpressed, but the majority find them interesting. Again, those who don't like them usually do find something else they do like, so the stories aren't ruining reading for them, either.

If kids are never exposed to something, they have no chance to even find out if they might like it and that's doing them a disservice.

Your mileage may vary, of course.

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Response to enlightenment (Reply #82)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:43 AM

84. May be so. But I still don't understand why high school students

need to study a "classic" text with more than 50 casually violent rapes, when there are so many other challenging and non-misogynistic texts out there.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #9)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 02:34 PM

103. Because it's poetry? Because it's old?

Because it's a bit of a challenge? What sort of text would you recommend?

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Response to Retrograde (Reply #103)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 03:45 PM

108. There are countless old poems out there. They don't need to assign The Metamorphoses

to tenth graders.

More Shakespeare would be fine, as long as they skip The Taming of the Shrew.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #108)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 04:52 PM

114. Can they do Titus Andronicus? (n/t)

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Response to Retrograde (Reply #114)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 07:53 PM

116. What do you think? Is it one of the best?

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #108)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 11:28 PM

137. Oh please. This is embarrassing. Might as well dispense with Classics entirely under your regime.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #9)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 11:26 PM

136. What a horrible, shallow rationale for dumbing down curricula.

What else do teens find "painful?" Biology? Chemistry? European history? Languages? By all means, let us dispense with any material teens may find "boring" and/or "painful." How shallow.

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Response to anneboleyn (Reply #136)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 12:11 AM

142. shallow is your uniformed post.

 

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Response to dmallind (Reply #1)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 11:21 PM

135. Exactly. Ovid, Shakespeare, etc. WTH is the problem? It is "poetry" and therefore too "hard?"

Please. Our curricula are so extremely dumbed down as it is -- it is humiliating compared to Europe, etc.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 05:01 PM

2. Good lord!

I'd make up shite to beat the band. Just trying to read it now makes my teeth hurt.
I have no idea what this would teach someone except that tests make no sense.

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Reply #2)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 05:06 PM

4. What? I loved reading Ovid in high school.

Even in translation.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #4)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 06:34 PM

48. they don't read it. ovid isn't on the 10th-grade reading list. they just get

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #48)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 07:51 PM

60. It was on my 10th grade reading list.

1961. As I said, I enjoyed it.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #60)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 11:48 PM

74. it's not on the common core reading list, which most of the states will soon

 

be following. it's not taught in 10th grade (or any grade, so far as i can tell). it's just a test question.

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Reply #2)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 05:31 PM

19. Oh I can see a number of things this tests that are appropriate...

1) Grade appropriate vocabulary.

2) The capacity to build meaning based on word roots, stems, and context. (Which is to say, an ability to self-develop/build reading capacity)

3) The capacity to follow the meaning of sentences of complex structure.

4) An appreciation for language as art.

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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #19)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 01:52 AM

89. Should students be expected to study a text

with more than 50 casually violent rapes -- as if there were no more appropriate texts to assign?

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #89)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 07:49 AM

96. IMO, although that clearly activates your sensibilities, it's a red herring

regarding the presentation of the passage as an example test item.

There are not 50 casually violent rapes presented in the selected passage. Ovid's Metamorphosis, in its entirety may. But, there is nothing to suggest that students exposed to this test passage would be exposed to that entire work. My understanding of the test is that it is not one for which a student prepares in content knowledge, but rather preparation is the development of skills that contribute to reading, including comprehension.

The passage is presented as an example of appropriately complex language that a 10th grader with advanced reading skills should be able to comprehend. The passage is presented as an example of the level of reading difficulty that students might encounter on the test. IMO The critical questions to be asked isn't whether Ovid wrote about sex (he certainly did) and rape, but whether the selected passage is appropriate to evaluate 10th grade reading ability. One can certainly argue over that point and SusanOhanian.blog does...as she suggests Innes' prose translation of this passage.

In the pursuit of that debate we must consider, at minimum, both sides of several questions...What reading difficulties are presented by lyrics vs prose? Should a college bound 10th grader be capable of reading and understanding a 90 year old translation of verse? Is that a desirable and appropriate state of affairs for the school system in question or American education as a whole?

Although Americans are amped-up over "teaching-to-the-test", this example test item is not a directive to schools on text choice. Chasing that red-herring ignores the purpose of the test and the purpose of the example being presented--which is to present for consideration a specimen of elevated level of English usage capable of assessing the ability of students to apply advanced reading skills to obtain comprehension.







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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #96)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 02:12 PM

99. Teaching to the test means that many students are likely to be taught

the whole text, either that year or in subsequent years.

I disagree with you wholeheartedly that only the reading difficulty, and not the content, of a reading passage should be important. Would you say the same thing about a passage advocating slavery or female circumcision? Or would you agree that a passage disturbing to many readers shouldn't be on a tenth grade test?

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #99)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 04:38 PM

111. I don't think this is a teaching to the test issue...because the nature of the assessement

actually requires object novelty in the text passage in order for the exam to be interpreted as only reading skills.

I do think that passages used in a reading test must be examined for appropriateness. And I do recognize that appropriateness is less sensitive to reading ability than the political culture of the educational system in which the test is implemented.

From the perspective of proper test making...whether or not a disturbing passage should be on a 10th grade reading assessment depends first upon what skill is being tested. Not being bowled over by the emotionality of a topic is generally not something that is tested at the 10th grade level. So, avoiding topics which could bias some students capacity to respond to the exam on a facet that is outside the assessment is something that I would expect test makers to avoid.

I can imagine passages on such a test that discuss solving the potato famine in Ireland by eating Irish babies. Swift's "Modest Proposal" essay would test a variety of advanced reading skills AND also test the students' ability to detect indications of a literary tool called IRONY (a fundamental reading skill that I can say after 10 years experience is apparently often missing among a significant number of DUers)

On the otherhand, although it is completely worthy of 10th grade consideration, I can imagine passages from Catcher in the Rye would be strenuously avoided because it would interfere with the marketability of the exam to many school districts.




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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #111)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 10:31 PM

129. can you also imagine what students would make of 'modest proposal' if they met it cold

 

on a test, without being taught anything about swift, ireland & britain & the potato famine?

i think they'd misinterpret it, for starters.

i also think that without learning that background there's nothing interesting about it for students and no point in reading it.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #89)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 09:20 AM

97. Pretending society has the same hundreds/thousands of years ago

 

was the same as today's doesn't do them any favors either. Was rape a lot more common and acceptable back then? Yep. Hopefully we have learned and progressed since then.

Do you think they should be allowed to read about slavery or should we pretend that wasn't acceptable in the past either?

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Response to AlexSatan (Reply #97)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 02:18 PM

100. With all the beautiful and/or difficult reading passages that could be assigned from other works,

I don't think there's any reason to subject high school students to The Metamorphoses anymore. Let them read it in college if they choose.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #100)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 04:48 PM

113. Now that,

 

is a valid argument. Pointing out better passages that do not have the rapes is much better than just saying it is bad because of the rapes.

Lots of books, including things like the Sword of Truth fantasy series have rapes but they are used to illustrate the evilness of certain groups or characters. Personally, I don't have a problem with that.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #89)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 09:49 PM

119. Is it a required test? For all 10th graders? I don't recall having to take a test in 10th grade.

Is it for college bound students? What is it for?

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Response to Honeycombe8 (Reply #119)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 10:24 PM

127. Common Core Tests. Every year.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Core_State_Standards_Initiative

This is in addition to the other tests the kids take.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #127)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 10:49 PM

130. That article says the tests are to go into effect in 2014-2015?

Some states are giving it ahead of time, I guess?

That article says the U S is at the bottom of international tests. That's disturbing.

Maybe I should've been taught Ovid. Never read him. I think we read a bit of Homer, and of course, a lot of U.K. authors. Beowulf and The Canterbury Tales.

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Response to Honeycombe8 (Reply #130)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 11:16 PM

133. no, i meant they will be given every year, to all students. at least once, possibly twice,

 

Last edited Tue Nov 27, 2012, 11:55 PM - Edit history (2)

on at least three subjects. details are still in development.

All the articles in the media say the US is at the bottom of international tests. This fact is given lots of play because finance capital wants to convince us to end public education.

Here's what they never tell you:

1. The US has *never* been at the top of international tests. Never, even when we were leading science and industry unchallenged. It's always been middling.

2. The international tests at issue aren't given to all students, nor does every country test a representative sample. For example, in china education is only mandatory for 9 years and poor/rural students are highly underrepresented.

3. US schools with 5% or less students in poverty (like finland has) score at the very top along with finland, which is at the top of those international comparisons. Similarly, schools with <25% of students in poverty score very high, with just a few countries higher. Even schools with half of students in poverty do ok.

It's majority-poverty schools that bring down the scores, and we have more than any country but mexico and turkey -- who score lower than us.

I won't bother listing the myriad ways that being part of a poor underclass impacts children educationally. Hopefully you already get that.

4. Once finance capital has its way, the US will still score low on those international comparisons -- but you won't hear much about it anymore. No propaganda value left.



There is, however, someone who recognizes that the data is being misinterpreted. NEA Today published remarks from National Association of Secondary School Principals Executive Director, Dr. Gerald N. Tirozzi, that have taken "a closer look at how the U.S. reading scores on PISA compared with the rest of the world’s, overlaying it with the statistics on how many of the tested students are in the government’s free and reduced lunch program for students below the poverty line."

...While the overall PISA rankings ignore such differences in the tested schools, when groupings based on the rate of free and reduced lunch are created, a direct relationship is established.

Free and Reduced Meal Rate-PISA Score (US)

Schools with < 10% 551

Schools with 10-24.9% 527

Schools with 25-49.9% 502

Schools with 49.9-74.9% 471

Schools with >75% 446

U.S. average 500

OECD average 493


With strong evidence that increased poverty results in lower PISA scores the next question to be asked is what are the poverty rates of the countries being tested? (Listed below are the countries that were tested by PISA along with available poverty rates. Some nations like Korea do not report poverty rates.)


Country-Poverty Rate-PISA Score

Finland 3.4% 536

Canada 13.6% 524

New Zealand 16.3% 521

Japan 14.3% 520

Australia 11.6% 515

Netherlands 9.0% 508

Belgium 6.7% 506

Norway 3.6% 503

Switzerland 6.8% 501

United States 21.7% 500

Poland 14.5% 500

Germany 10.9% 497

Ireland 15.7% 496

France 7.3% 496

Denmark 2.4% 495

United Kingdom 16.2% 494

Hungary 13.1% 494

Portugal 15.6% 489

Italy 15.7% 486

Greece 12.4% 483

Czech Republic 7.2% 478

Austria 13.3% 471



http://www.schoolsmatter.info/2011/01/pisa-scores-show-us-should-export-poor.html


So on PISA, the US is *not* at the bottom; it's in the middle. And it does quite well considering its high child poverty rate and its high percentage of children living in *extreme* poverty.

It would do even better if we could halve the child poverty rate.








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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #133)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 11:45 PM

138. This whole testing mania is about profit -- for the testing companies

and for profit-making schools.

It doesn't do anything to enrich students' actual educations.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #138)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 11:56 PM

139. +1

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 05:04 PM

3. I thoroughly enjoyed reading that....

Haven't read it since high school.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 05:15 PM

6. I knew I'd get the "I love Ovid, especially in 100-year-old translation" from the

 

people who'd be yelling "One size doesn't fit all!" in another context.

Yes, the ability to appreciate Ovid should *definitely* determine every child's life chances in the new global economy. I mean, what else?

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #6)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 06:15 PM

41. Appreciate it might be asking to much...

However, even a 10th grader should be capable of understanding it. It is hardly asking them to perform a herculean task of reading and comprehension to answer the silly sample questions posed in the OP.

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Response to Riftaxe (Reply #41)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 12:09 AM

141. Do you know a lot of typical 10th graders? And by that I mean,

the 2/3 that are NOT heading off to college after graduation?

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #6)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 06:26 PM

45. Enjoyed the reading too.

I am so past "shelf-life". lolol

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #6)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 11:54 PM

76. I don't think all education should be about the "global economy"

The humanities are often targeted by the budget slashers because they aren't of any use to worker bees, but I can't imagine anything more cold, sterile and boring than having nothing taught to me but how to compete in a crooked game for the next sixty years of my life.

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Response to Union Scribe (Reply #76)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 02:37 AM

93. but according to the folks pushing this, it's all about educating kids for the global economy.

 

in which, i guess, deciphering ovid in a 100-year-old translation is a highly valued skill that every last student should have.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 05:18 PM

7. Your answer choices are A), B), C) or TL/DR)

Critical essay response: "I like the way the author builds up suspense by randomly inserting numbers, ever counting higher by increments of five, as the poem builds to a lofty crescendo..."

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 05:19 PM

8. This isn't the way to encourage a generation of readers.

This passage is for the 1%, not the 99%.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #8)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 05:26 PM

14. That's one of the more inane objections I've heard to, well, anything here. (nt)

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Response to Posteritatis (Reply #14)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 05:27 PM

16. How many English classes have you taught or observed? n/t

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #16)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 05:28 PM

17. What bearing does that have on deciding poetry's for the 1%? (nt)

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Response to Posteritatis (Reply #17)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 05:43 PM

21. If you knew high school students you would know there would only be a few

in any class that would appreciate this passage.

For the rest, this would give them one more reason to say, "I hate reading."

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #8)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 05:46 PM

24. Nope, not even them.

I've taught some from the 1%, and those kids would balk at this, too.

In all reality, most sophomores would have trouble with that. That's an AP-level reading passage.

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Response to knitter4democracy (Reply #24)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 02:00 AM

91. I meant 1% in ability and interest, not in financial background.

You're right -- this could be a senior honors class assignment, or an AP passage.

Even then I think they could do better than Ovid.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #91)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 09:44 PM

117. It's a passage I'd expect on the AP anyway.

I teach AP Lit/Comp, so it's a bit surprising to see if with younger students.

I can see what you mean now. Thanks for clarifying.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #8)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 05:55 PM

29. Holy phuking wow! You could not be more wrong. Please describe your personal

understanding of cognitive development.

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Response to patrice (Reply #29)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 06:09 PM

38. Why should I? Anyone who works with teens knows that most of them

reject reading for pleasure because they find the texts they're required to read in school so uninteresting.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #38)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:01 AM

78. What should they read in school then?

Twilight?

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Response to Union Scribe (Reply #78)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:09 AM

80. Frankenstein is pretty good.

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Response to Union Scribe (Reply #78)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 02:02 AM

92. How about Shakespeare? (But not The Taming of the Shrew)

Or Chaucer?
Or any number of other texts from the western canon.

Or they could live really dangerously and include texts from other parts of the world.

Or they could even read modern novels, like The Hunger Games.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/09/books/review/Green-t.html?pagewanted=all

Suzanne Collins’s brilliantly plotted and perfectly paced new novel, “The Hunger Games,” is set much farther in the future but grapples with many of the same questions. Collins, the author of “The Underland Chronicles,” a well-regarded fantasy series, has now written a futuristic novel every bit as good and as allegorically rich as Scott Westerfeld’s “Uglies” books.

“The Hunger Games” begins long after the human population has been decimated by climate change and the wars that followed. Now North America is the nation of Panem, a country with 12 fenced-in districts that all work to feed the enormously wealthy and technologically advanced capital. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen lives in District 12, the poorest of them all. Her father died mining in the Seam years ago, and now her family survives thanks to her mother’s knowledge of herbal medicine and Katniss’s own illegal hunting and gathering outside the district’s fence.

SNIP

But the considerable strength of the novel comes in Collins’s convincingly detailed world-building and her memorably complex and fascinating heroine. In fact, by not calling attention to itself, the text disappears in the way a good font does: nothing stands between Katniss and the reader, between Panem and America.

This makes for an exhilarating narrative and a future we can fear and believe in, but it also allows us to see the similarities between Katniss’s world and ours. American luxury, after all, depends on someone else’s poverty. Most people in Panem live at subsistence levels, working to feed the cavernous hungers of the Capital’s citizens. Collins sometimes fails to exploit the rich allegorical potential here in favor of crisp plotting, but it’s hard to fault a novel for being too engrossing.

Both Collins and Pfeffer plan sequels to their books — here’s hoping civilization can hang around long enough to publish them.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #92)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 09:46 PM

118. I had 2 alternative high school students almost come to blows over that book.

While I had to break it up, it was still pretty cool to see kids fighting over a book.

We teach all of those, including Taming of the Shrew.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #8)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 05:57 PM

30. Is that the purpose of the test?

I get your point. If this passage, and the book it's from, were central too the curriculum, many of the students would be bored. For a passage on a test of reading comprehension, though, I don't see a problem with it.

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Response to surrealAmerican (Reply #30)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 06:04 PM

35. If passages like this are known to be on a test, they WILL be central to the curriculum.

Teaching to the test is an unfortunate fact of life.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #8)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 07:54 PM

61. So people who enjoy reading,

and spend the time needed to understand it are part of the 1%. Wait...let me go check my bank accounts....nope, there's still not much in there.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #61)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 08:33 PM

66. You can love to read, as I did, and dislike Ovid

and his misogynistic mythology.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #66)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:24 AM

81. But I bet reading him helped you improve your skills at critique.

I think Hemingway was a jackass but I'm glad I read his stuff so that I could develop an informed opinion about it.

Teens don't like reading Shakespeare and the classics because they are hard, not because they are not interesting. It's easier to watch a movie or play Call of Duty. But that doesn't mean that kids can't be supplied with the tools to become interested in classical literature. I was reading Shakespeare when I was nine because I saw the Flying Karamazov Brothers version on PBS. I taped it, watched it about a billion times, then read the play, then read more plays. If I'd never been exposed to it in the first place, I probably never would have developed the skills to be able to read Elizabethen prose let alone middle and old English.

And the standard in school cannot be "if it's hard and it bores kids they shouldn't have to do it" or no one would ever major in math or science. I taught college freshmen for years and we had some pretty dry and dense material (Foucault anyone?) but most of them got through it with some support and encouragement. It's struggling with the difficult stuff that helps us reach the next level, not cruising along on whatever grabs our attention.

A lot of what these kids are going to be reading in college and at their jobs and in the newspapers isn't immediately interesting or entertaining or easy. They need to learn how to find their own points of interest in difficult texts or else, frankly, they should stay in high school or flipping burgers at McDonalds.

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Response to wickerwoman (Reply #81)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:41 AM

83. There were countless other difficult texts I could have read instead in order

to improve my critiquing skills. I didn't need to read a "classic" with more than 50 rapes.

I liked reading Shakespeare, with The Taming of the Shrew as an exception.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #8)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 08:22 PM

63. What an appalling comment. Nightmarish.

The treasures of western civilization are not for the "masses," they are only for the wealthy?

Yet it was the classics and not popular light reading that were packed into trunks and carried out west as the most precious cargo...and none of those pioneers was wealthy or privileged. Their poverty only made them more eager for the riches of literature, perhaps the only wealth they would ever know.

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Response to aquart (Reply #63)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 11:57 PM

77. +1 with many zeros on the end. nt

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #8)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 01:57 AM

90. The 1% don't read; they have people to do that for them.

When I was in college you could get trade paperback classics for $1 a piece because they weren't in copyright, unlike all the modern fiction which went for $15-20 a paperback. I read heaps of classics for precisely that reason.

My grandfather worked as a railway conductor all his life which was a union job but definitely blue collar. He never went to college but he could recite literally hours worth of poetry by heart. Before he died, my uncle taped him doing it. There's like five hours worth of material with no repetition and that's when he was in his early 70s and practically in the hospital. When he was younger, he probably knew days worth of material.

Poetry and the classics isn't for the 1% at all. Before we had TV and radio, everyday people used to gather around the fire and recite or sing or read this stuff out to each other almost every evening. It's a cultural inheritance that everyone is entitled to and should have access to.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 05:23 PM

10. It's OK so long as they explain that humans can't actually fly this way.

Birds have hollow bones, huge breast muscles, etc. which enable flight and which humans do not have.

A cogent analysis of lift, thrust, drag and gravitational forces should accompany the text.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 05:25 PM

11. Why should children not learn classical literature?

Last edited Mon Nov 26, 2012, 06:02 PM - Edit history (1)

These writings are where where many of our ideas on government, social order, aesthetics, etc are derived. I might also add that the disciplines of history, science, and philosophy find their roots in the writings of the great thinkers of classical civilization. Before curricula were dumbed down, classics were a required area of study and never have been dropped.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 05:25 PM

12. For 4 decades I tried to teach undergrads biology...

Many of the undergrads I encountered lacked advanced academic reading skills.

I can see how the above translation exercises many advanced reading abilities, and I don't have a problem with it.

What problem do you see with this?


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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #12)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 07:01 PM

55. four decades...?



Well done! I'm not gonna last much past two.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 05:26 PM

13. Yes, how dare those poor snowflakes have to read something complex for a change.

Never thought I'd see DUers whining because someone wasn't dumbing down a curriculum, at least since the whole "let's eliminate math" fiasco back when this place still panicked about Bombing The Moon.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #23)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 06:06 PM

36. Literatures reflect their times

and sometimes it is equally valuable for people to understand that society has undergone significant progressions throughout history. There is much that I have read throughout my lifetime that has made me uncomfortable. Reading uncomfortable or unpleasant material gives you a window into other lives and experiences. It does not mean that you have to repeat or experience those incidents. And I speak as a rape survivor.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #23)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 02:21 PM

101. Yet you upthread recommended books that contain many more *deaths* than that

Is it ok to describe deaths but not rapes? Why?

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 05:44 PM

22. Ovid is simply

a delivery system for thematic/critical thinking questions. Your OP should read: Here's what your 10th-graders will be tested on under Common Core: Critical Thinking. Ovid is simply text. Who has a problem with that?

Of course teachers will struggle to get students to read challenging material, but at least the CC questions are not calling for straight regurgitation of disassociated facts from a text. One need not use Ovid to teach students to think critically and make thematic connections between texts, art, history, science, math, etc., Green Eggs and Ham works as well. Teachers will need to use a different approach to delivering knowledge to students, though.

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Response to montanto (Reply #22)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 05:47 PM

25. And there's the crux of the matter: what approach?

You think we don't differentiate and use a million different ways to teach kids to think critically in English? We do, but the latest brain research says that only 50% of our students are able to reason and think critically by their senior year. Their brains aren't at this level yet, so we could be the best teachers in the world and still fail with half of our students.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 05:50 PM

26. If they want kids to read Ovid, it should be "The Art of Love".

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 05:52 PM

27. "... the kind of reading students will have to ENDURE ..." Do you recognize your own bias? nt

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 05:52 PM

28. If kids aren't used to reading archaic language they're going to have a hard time with that

It isn't quite King James but the language is obviously of a time gone by, I see quite a few words that today's kids are unlikely to know from normal twenty first century American usage.

He fashioned quills
and feathers in due order -- deftly formed
300 from small to large, as any rustic pipe
prom straws unequal slants.


I mean, I know this sentence is about cutting the feathers at an angle to fit but what "rustic pipe prom straws" means I haven't the foggiest unless maybe it has to do with thatching roofs, oh well forget that, got to keep moving, it's a timed test after all.

Gaze not at the boundless sky,
far Ursa Major and Bootes next.
Nor on Orion with his flashing brand,
325 but follow my safe guidance."


And this one, most kids today have never even seen a dark sky and have no idea of the constellations. In plenty of our cities only a bare few stars can be seen at all. After the 1989 Loma Prieta quake when the power was off people were calling 911 about a gas cloud in the sky, it was the Milky Way. The sky has only gotten brighter since then.

http://books.google.com/books?id=mM20uIOPdNMC&pg=PT100&lpg=PT100&dq=loma+prieta+911+milky+way&source=bl&ots=DMqlbzR8gh&sig=gfMP794ouW0VfvkKXgLqqhfH7-g&hl=en&sa=X&ei=OvKzUIDXIJSI8QT7-oA4&ved=0CD8Q6AEwAw




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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #28)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 06:10 PM

39. Well, jeez. isn't that the very type of circumstance for which we should to teach research skills

to them? Give them a tool to use. Just don't call them poor darlings and not challenge their minds. Right now much of what passes for communication with young people anyway involves words without vowels or substituting numbers for syllables or words. Reading Ovid or any other classical writer may not be that great of a leap after all.

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Response to Skidmore (Reply #39)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 06:16 PM

42. This is a test, not a research project..

I was never given access to research materials during this sort of test and I'd be surprised if it's allowed today.

No problem with Ovid in the classroom or even as homework, on a test, particularly a high stakes one, I'm not so sure.

That first sentence I quoted, without Googling do you know what it's referring to?

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #42)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 06:23 PM

44. I know what "rustic," "pipe," "prom," and "straws" all mean.

Does that count?

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #44)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 06:28 PM

46. Put them together and what've you got?

Gibbley Gobbledy Gook

Sung to the Disney Bibbety bobbety boo..

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #46)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 06:29 PM

47. Pretty much. n/t

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Response to Skidmore (Reply #39)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 06:38 PM

50. ovid isn't on the 10th grade reading list. this is just a passage that they

 

get, cold, on the test.

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Response to Skidmore (Reply #39)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 11:51 PM

75. ovid isn't in common core's 10th grade reading, i.e. it won't be taught. they

 

will encounter the passage only on the high stakes test. no research allowed.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #75)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 02:45 PM

106. What's to research?

Students are presented with a text, then asked questions about that text. The material needed to answer those questions is in the text. It's a test of reading comprehension, and it's nothing new: I was subjected to state standardized tests in the 1960s, including reading comprehension. It could just as easily be a passage from The Communist Manifesto or Huckleberry Finn or MacBeth or The Kitchen God's Wife or <insert text here>.

I think high school students - and people in general - are much more intelligent than they're generally give credit for: the problem is that they get treated with kid gloves and not challenged enough to stretch their minds.

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Response to Retrograde (Reply #106)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 03:09 PM

107. my post was to counter the idea that students will actually be studying ovid. but the

 

fact is, if you've studied literature written in archaic styling, you'll have a better chance of doing well on this particular question, and it's not comparable in that sense to CM or KGW. It requires a more intensive reading to get anough of the gist of it to answer the questions about its themes etc. and standardized tests are timed tests.

statements like "kids aren't challenged enough" & "kids are more intelligent than they're given credit for" are simplistic in this context. intelligence has little to do with it & what is beneficially challenging is specific to individuals.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 05:58 PM

31. Student: "Why are we reading Ovid's handbook on rape?"

A good question. Ovid's Metamorphoses has more than 50 rapes. For some students, this gets tiresome.

http://www.amazon.com/Why-Reading-Ovids-Handbook-Rape/dp/1594511039/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1353970128&sr=8-1&keywords=why+are+we+reading+ovid%27s+handbook

Why Are We Reading Ovid's Handbook on Rape? raises feminist issues in a way that reminds people why they matter. We eavesdrop on the vivid student characters in their hilarious, frustrating, and thought-provoking efforts to create strong and flexible selves against the background of representations of women in contemporary and classical Western literature. Young women working together in a group make surprising choices about what to learn, and how to go about learning it. Along the way they pose some provocative questions about how well traditional education serves women. Equally engaging is Kahn's own journey as she confronts questions that are fundamental to women, to teachers, to students and to parents: Why do we read? What can we teach? and What does gender have to do with it?

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 06:00 PM

33. Challenge is the essence of cognitive development. It should be appropriate, but inappropriate

challenge can as often, and perhaps even MORE often, be too low as easily as it can be too high.

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Response to patrice (Reply #33)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 06:02 PM

34. The Metamorphoses isn't just challenging. It's sexist and misogynistic and includes

more than 50 rapes.

There are better texts out there for today's purposes.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #34)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 06:06 PM

37. That's okay with me as long as it isn't about avoiding reading challenges. Discussion is

also another way to respond to those issues with appropriately developed students.

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Response to patrice (Reply #37)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 06:11 PM

40. But in a test situation there's no discussion involved.

And the female half of test takers may be having a very different reaction to the text than the males.

I hated Ovid when I read it in high school. I wouldn't inflict it on any teen today.

If they need a difficult text, let them use Shakespeare. But skip Taming of the Shrew.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #40)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 06:20 PM

43. Your point about the testing environment is taken. I was thinking about curriculum in general...

and I do not consider my own tastes, whether I hated something or not, within certain limitations, the criteria for curriculum. If it becomes relevant somehow, I tell those who may be interested how I feel and WHY, but that's my personal stuff, not a standard for others unless they, after their own consideration, agree.

Literature is as much a manifestation of the historical truths about human nature and culture as it is anything else.

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Response to patrice (Reply #43)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 06:44 PM

51. ovid isn't part of the 10th-grade curriculum. it's just a test question.

 

there's no greek lit in the 10th grade curriculum.

http://csdlibrary.wikispaces.com/Common+Core--10th+Grade

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #40)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 02:30 PM

102. How will the test takers know about the 50 rapes that are not in this sample?

You keep switching complaints between obscurity and obscenity. They can't be true at the same time. If they are unfamiliar enough with the text to deem it obscure they won't know about the rapes. If they know the book well enough to know about the rapes (which are far less graphic than on broadcast TV) then they will hardly find it all that obscure.

Which is the real problem? that a 2000 year old text includes some bowdlerized sexual violence (which is apparently worse to you than the graphic torture and slaughter of both sexes in The Hunger Games) or that kids don't understand imagery any more and get frustrated at words less faddish than "l8er"?

Here's an example of those terrible rape scenes by the way folks...

"The sun was high, just path the zenith, when she entered a grove that had been untouched through the years. Here she took her quiver from her shoulder, unstrung her curved bow, and lay down on the grass, her head resting on her painted quiver. Jupiter, seeing her there weary and unprotected, said ‘Here, surely, my wife will not see my cunning, or if she does find out it is, oh it is, worth a quarrel! Quickly he took on the face and dress of Diana, and said ‘Oh, girl who follows me, where in my domains have you been hunting?’

The virgin girl got up from the turf replying ‘Greetings, goddess greater than Jupiter: I say it even though he himself hears it.’ He did hear, and laughed, happy to be judged greater than himself, and gave her kisses unrestrainedly, and not those that virgins give. When she started to say which woods she had hunted he embraced and prevented her and not without committing a crime. Face to face with him, as far as a woman could, (I wish you had seen her Juno: you would have been kinder to her) she fought him, but how could a girl win, and who is more powerful than Jove? Victorious, Jupiter made for the furthest reaches of the sky: while to Callisto the grove was odious and the wood seemed knowing. As she retraced her steps she almost forgot her quiver and its arrows, and the bow she had left hanging."


Yep - that horror is apparently a valid reason not to include a poet who has endured for over twenty centuries on a literatire exam.....

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Response to dmallind (Reply #102)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 03:56 PM

110. The fact that it is couched in poetic language doesn't make it less of a rape. "She fought him."

He committed "a crime."

Knowing The Metamorphosis is likely to be on the test, teachers are likely to teach the whole poem in school, not just one isolated passage. I see no reason for 10th graders to be forced to read The Metamorphosis when there are so many other good books, both classic and modern, available.

Yes, the Hunger Games is all about violence -- but not specifically toward women. Katniss isn't a victim in the Hunger Games. She and Peeta are heroes who beat the system, not hapless victims.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #110)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 04:44 PM

112. So...nongraphic rape descriptions are, to you, worse than graphic torture and killing descriptions?

Regardless of literary merit, how do you possibly make that case? Teenagers will be traumatized by PG grade rapine of ancient mythical cartoon characters, but ok with people just like them torturing and killing each other? And what idiot teacher would choose to teach all possible options for a single unseen passage question?

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 06:36 PM

49. What an insipid critique by your source. I would have been tested on Ovid in the original Latin,

and she's complaining that the translation is too difficult for 10th graders?

Crap. I'd hate to think what she wants to do to Shakespeare.


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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 06:48 PM

52. Ugh, not only is it a wretched story to begin with

they had to use such a clumsy, unreadable translation!

This sort of thing might be fine for a classroom discussion, but for a reading comprehension test it's really inappropriate.

I always despised the story itself, which was meant to keep the kiddies under the thumbs of their elders.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 06:54 PM

53. I don't see anything wrong with this -

 

First, there may be rapes in Ovid, but not in the passage given, so what's the problem there? This is simply a "document based question" -- it requires no previous knowledge.

And in fact, this is not an example of something being too hard, but rather something else quite typical in education today -- something that looks hard, but in fact is easy: students get beaten over the head with Greek mythology in middle school. It takes only a cursory scan to show that this is the old story of Daedalus and Icarus which I would hope a lot of students would have a vague memory of. Once they remember that, the passage almost becomes unnecessary - except for the ending which tacks on a story about this Perdix character who gets changed into a bird.

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Response to downandoutnow (Reply #53)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 08:25 PM

64. Welcome to DU!

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 06:54 PM

54. It's how testing is done in many other countries...

By age 10, I was translating ancient Greek and Latin texts that were not fun reading material and some of which had plenty of adult content in it. I was also writing my own musical compositions for music classes, and writing papers on chiaroscuro techniques employed by Caravaggio. None of this stuff was especially exciting (though I find it exciting now), but it gave me solid foundations for later academic work. Beowulf and La Divina Commedia are not easy readings either, but I consider them essential literature.

If we start basing curricula on what's 'fun' and 'hip' for the students, then we'll probably just have lessons on Angry Birds and Justin Bieber or whatever else will be the new fad. School is supposed to be hard, challenging and not just a way to pass the time.

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Response to WilmywoodNCparalegal (Reply #54)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 07:15 PM

56. ovid is not on the common core 10th grade reading list. it's just a test

 

question.

there is no greek classical literature on the common core 10th grade reading list. greek classical literature is not studied in 10th grade according to the common core reading lists.

testing in other countries is done pretty much how it is here. often by the same corporations.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 07:16 PM

57. here's a different perspective....

I can't really comment on the appropriateness or inappropriateness of the question, because I didn't write it or the instrument it appears in, but I can comment about it's appropriateness if I had written it-- thinking about it after my earlier comment it occurred to me that it's actually a great question to ask students at about that grade level IF your objective is to assess their ability to use language skills to solve a problem they probably haven't encountered before. Since Ovid isn't normally a part of tenth grade curricula, and the language is archaic-- doubly so with the older translation-- and since it's not likely on the must read list of even the most avid teenage reader, it's pretty nearly guaranteed that the kids taking the test haven't had any serious prior exposure to the passage in the test.

This isn't one of those "you either know the answer or you don't" sorts of questions. Rather, it's a question you're nearly sure to NOT know the answer to, so you have to use your language skills-- learned in other contexts, but how well?-- to CREATE an answer and then you have to evaluate it internally, requiring both creativity and good judgement.

That's the way it'd be if I wrote that question.

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Response to mike_c (Reply #57)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 07:25 PM

58. "haven't had any serious prior exposure to the passage in the test."

 

exactly. it's not about studying classical greek lit, because they don't in 10th grade (or in 9th grade either. not sure when or if they do).

but you're wrong that no test-taker will have been exposed to Ovid, or to archaic literary language; some will, those in selective enrollment schools.

The test is designed to separate those sheep from the majority of goats.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 07:31 PM

59. Uh huh and the current gripe is that schools don't teach job skills or that schools

ignore the arts-eliminate art and music-but this is going to do it? Hardly.

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Response to MichiganVote (Reply #59)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:55 AM

86. We could just give them this machine assembly manual:

http://www.micromark.com/html_pages/instructions/82573i-a/82573assyinst.htm

and then test them on their comprehension. Do you install the operating levers to the spindle stock before or after adjusting the head stock wedge?

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 09:05 PM

67. Mirabile dictu! A flamewar on Ovid.

I wish Virgil were alive to chronicle it.

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Response to rug (Reply #67)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 09:14 PM

68. <snort>





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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #68)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 09:15 PM

69. Ave, amice

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Response to rug (Reply #67)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 02:35 PM

104. I tip my hat to you....I think Virgil declined. nt

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Response to msanthrope (Reply #104)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 11:13 PM

132. Long before Schoolhouse Rock, there was this.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 09:16 PM

70. So you are upset about children learning to read. Cool.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Reply #70)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 09:19 PM

72. Your comments are generally much smarter than that

I would have no problem with this in a class discussion, on homework or even on a normal test.

On a high stakes test that often has major impact on a kid's future, I'm not so comfortable.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Reply #70)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 02:42 PM

105. Basically.

And they want the children to be able to have access to the entire text for research purposes before hand. I mean, far be it for them to illustrate their reading comprehension skills.

Next thing you know they'll be complaining about pre-job interviews and demanding cheat sheets.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 09:18 PM

71. 30 years, high school English, Tech-Prep 11, Honors 10, C-P 12. THIS EXCERPT SUCKS.

IMO, there is NO WAY most of the sophomores will be able to understand the content, the vocabulary, or the scansion to make much sense of this passage!

Have any of you ever heard a h.s. senior read poetry aloud? Painful. Stops at every line, end punctuation or not, instructions or not.

(I also studied and taught mythology, as an FYI.)

Bah. I loathe these types of tests, favored by bureaucrats and/or "entrepreneurs."

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 09:40 PM

73. Wait until they get to his love manual!

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:45 AM

85. On any assessment there will be questions only the top % of students will master



Someone with good reading comprehensive skills should be able to read the excerpt for the first time and do well on these questions.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 01:13 AM

87. I'm a high school English teacher

My main objection is that it is simply too difficult as a test item. Gimme a week and I could have the kids working miracles with it, but as a dry read test item it's atrocious.

Another objection is that under the Common Core, I don't get to teach much literature anymore. These days it has to be 70% nonfiction.

My final objection is that it's simply not relevant to the lives of teenagers these days. We don't have much time with them; we should pick and choose which classics we teach. There's plenty of good poetry, written in the modern age and with a modern vernacular, that average high school kids can relate to far better. The canon is huge, and this translation of Ovid sucks balls. Of course, it's also public domain, so there's no royalty fees for the testing corporation.

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Response to Nevernose (Reply #87)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 09:52 PM

120. What's wrong with Homer? Isn't that more popular with kids? nt

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 01:48 AM

88. i like the newer translation in the link for teaching

this one tries to retain the poetic meter as best as possible, but comes off as strained. modern poetry translation either moves closer to transliteration with the original side-by-side for comparison (extremely useful for multi-language studies) or towards a freeform poetry that emphasizes accessibility to the content.

now, i'm a glutton for punishment and find reading Victorian and Edwardian translations of the classics to be a delightful way to flagellate oneself on a rainy day; it goes well with eating high sulfur vegetables as both are good for my health. but i understand it's an acquired taste even as an adult. i'd think it'd be downright inappropriate for youth to whom i'd try to inculcate the lifelong joy of reading.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 09:35 AM

98. I think it is great. We underestimate the kids and what are we saying if something I learned in high

school is too hard for current students? Shouldn't they know who Ovid was? Shouldn't they know the classics?
If this is meant to be an example of how off base these schools are, it is a poor one.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 09:57 PM

121. Good. I want students to be challenged

 

Ovid's a perfectly fine choice for a test.

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Response to RZM (Reply #121)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 10:03 PM

122. so it's standardized tests that challenge students? i thought it was curriculum

 

& learning experiences.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #122)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 10:08 PM

124. Ideally they are challenged on a regular basis

 

And not just on tests. That's the whole point, isn't it? I see this as a tempest in a teapot. So there's Ovid on the test. Big deal. You have to pick something and there's no reason the classical canon shouldn't be a part of that.

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Response to RZM (Reply #124)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 10:16 PM

125. There is a reason. Classical greek/romance literature written in archaic english isn't part

 

Last edited Wed Nov 28, 2012, 12:16 AM - Edit history (2)

of the 10th grade common core curriculum. Or the 9th grade curriculum. And standardized tests are timed tests.

It's designed to select for selective enrollment students.

add this to the picture: standardized testing is taking up an increasing percentage of class time, reducing the time available to teach *anything*; common core mandates that only 70% of texts must be 'informational' - prose non-fiction: essays, newspaper articles, etc.

Only 30% can be *any* kind of literature, including poetry or drama.

So yeah, let's all use that time to read ovid.

I predict declining scores & declining graduation rates except for the top 10%. which may be the point of this crap.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 10:03 PM

123. It's not any worse then the stuff I had to read in 9th or 10th grade.

I was in high school in the 90's. We had to read Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, etc. 12th Night, Taming of the Shrew.

I don't find the passage something I could not have understood at 15/16.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 10:20 PM

126. excellent

More of this and maybe fewer of my college students will arrive functionally illiterate.

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Response to Deep13 (Reply #126)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 10:27 PM

128. yea, testing them on something they didn't study will help a lot. and more testing will

 

help too. because isn't that how students learn better, by being tested within an inch of their lives multiple times a year in high-pressure, timed settings?

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #128)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 11:08 PM

131. I meant excellent that Sophmores were being exposed to Ovid.

No fan of NCLB.

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Response to Deep13 (Reply #131)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 11:17 PM

134. the only place they're being exposed is on the test itself. not a good space for a 1st

 

encounter, imo.

like dante, i prefer a guide when entering hell.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #134)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 01:41 AM

143. That's bad.

No real lessons, not Dante.

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