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Mon Dec 10, 2012, 08:40 AM

Catcher in the Rye dropped from US school curriculum

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.

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.

The new educational standards have the backing of the influential National Governors' Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, and are being part-funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

more ... http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/booknews/9729383/Catcher-in-the-Rye-dropped-from-US-school-curriculum.html

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Reply Catcher in the Rye dropped from US school curriculum (Original post)
proud2BlibKansan Dec 2012 OP
WCGreen Dec 2012 #1
proud2BlibKansan Dec 2012 #4
WCGreen Dec 2012 #27
proud2BlibKansan Dec 2012 #64
AtheistCrusader Dec 2012 #82
proud2BlibKansan Dec 2012 #112
AtheistCrusader Dec 2012 #116
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SharonAnn Dec 2012 #99
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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 08:45 AM

1. I'm sure the English Classes will at least read a couple of novels and at least one Shakespeare.

I didn't read any fiction in any other class beside English.

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Response to WCGreen (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 08:52 AM

4. No. Probably not.

Common Core emphasizes non-fiction.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #4)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:27 AM

27. But 70% of my High School reading was Non-Fiction....

In my English Class we read about 35 books ranging from Walden to To Kill A Mockingbird and six of the bards best.

And all the text books in Math, History, Science were all Non-fiction Books.

You stated 70% of all the books would be non-fiction.

If a student is exposed to 100 books in the four years of high school that would still make 30 books of non-fiction.

I'm not taking their side, I just wanted to point that out.

Now most kids don't take four years of English anymore.

I graduated in 1975 and we had English in 10th grade and then you were allowed to take different English orientated classes and Senior English was an elective.

I took it for all four years.

A lot of the people I hung with have never read a fiction book outside of school. They are very functional in the work place. In fact, I can honestly say that of all my friends in High School are doing a lot better in their careers than I am but then again, I don't crave piles of money and define myself by my title. Again, my life took a strange path ten years ago and wiped me out of the game just when I was starting to make real money.

Anyway, I find the situation sad because there is so much you can learn from reading the great works of literature. I make it a point to read at least two classics every year.

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Response to WCGreen (Reply #27)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 10:53 AM

64. That was then. This is now.

Fortunately you went to school before Common Core.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #64)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 11:35 AM

82. That's a bit like unifying everyone's immune systems...

That's just a bad, bad damn stupid idea. I just had a look through the Common Core State Standards, do they really try to get every student to read the same base set of books? For why?

Are we producing homogeneous robots now? Literature influences ideas, desires, you name it. We benefit, as a species, from a diversity of ideas, just like we benefit as a herd from a diversity of immune responses.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #82)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 12:25 PM

112. Yes. And scripted lessons too.

So not only are all the kids studying the same thing at the same time but their teachers are saying the same thing.

Hey I know! Let's get robots to do that!!

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #112)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 12:33 PM

116. I read that piece on Friday about the automated burger making machine...

Got me thinking.. It really did.

There is nothing they cannot automate with a machine, if you can get away with sufficiently constraining the criteria on what you want the end product to look like.

Applies to education, hell, every market. Someday even my job could be replaced with machines that troubleshoot other broken machines.

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Response to WCGreen (Reply #27)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 11:30 AM

80. My high school required 3 years of english.

11th grade college prep English, we read Romeo And Juliet.

11th damn grade. I read that book when I was probably 10 years old. I was also one of two students in the class that could read it out loud without stammering over every third word. That was a special kind of torture to listen to.

We never read Catcher. I picked it up later on, off some 'influential books' list. Couldn't for the life of me figure out what the hell it was about. I picked up on hints of loss of innocence, and maybe some sexual abuse, but I couldn't tie it all together. I've discussed it with some friends that grew up suffering abuse, or questioning their sense of self purpose, who had issues with that transition from teen to adult, and they helped explain it a bit. Perhaps with that in mind, if I read it again, I might pick up on more cues that I missed the first time.

Overall, it's my impression the book is largely popular specifically because it was banned.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #80)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 12:02 PM

99. I, too, didn't understand Catcher in the Rye when I read it at 16. And I was a pretty

good English Literature student. I just didn't have the life experience and maturity to really "get it". I understood the plot and some of the motivation, but the rest was for a later time.

Nonetheless, I gained something from it and knew enough to go back and reread it later.

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Response to SharonAnn (Reply #99)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 03:25 PM

148. That is one hallmark of a great work of literature, i.e., that one can "re-read

 

it later" and still be moved by the re-reading.

N.B.: others downthread have dismissed it as, among other things, a 'lousy whinefest.'

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #80)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 12:20 PM

109. I believe we had English all through six years of Jr. High and High School

7th-9th was Junior High and 10th-12th was high school. At least I can remember American Lit in the 8th grade and debate in the 9th grade. Then in High School there was a semester of English required every year, and then you had to take an elective English class for the other semester.

At this point my memory fails, so I checked my old report cards. Heck, I had English and Speech (which I remembered as debate) in the 9th grade. Then took reading improvment in 10th, creative writing in 11th and exposition in 12th. I think those were electives chosen out of a pool of six perhaps.

I do remember we did McBeth in English Lit in 12th grade, and I was picked to read about three parts. So I was McBeth and McDuff fighting a duel with myself.

I cannot remember a lot of required reading. A bunch of short stories maybe that were in the English textbooks, but not really novels. I guess I can remember Treasure Island and Great Expectations from Junior High, and in the 10th grade we read "Alas, Babylon". In English lit we had a long list of novels to choose from and I picked, sort of at random "Devil's Cub" which was hardly a classic. More like a 19th century harlequin it seems to me.

And West Side Story was in there somewhere as well.

Hence my obsession with the Jets.

I graduated in 1980 and read "Catcher in the Rye" when I was in my 30s and owned a bookstore. I wasn't that impressed either. I think people read it when they are teenagers and thus think it is the coolest thing ever and really profound.

Whereas for me, that book is "The Outsiders". Which I think my little brother was reading for school, but I never did.

Oh, and I think Reading Improvement required you to read three books per semester, and I read about 8 in my first semester - all by HG Wells. My teacher was not impressed, and I got a B, so I had to bear down the 2nd semester, although I cannot remember what I read for that one. I had a notebook at one time listing over 100 novels I had read, mostly science fiction I would guess, but I cannot remember most of it, except for the Asimov. I read some of his non-fiction essays as well. I remember once reading "Pebble in the Sky" and decided to write down every word I didn't understand and look it up. I did not think there would be any, since I normally read Asimov without any trouble. But there were almost ten such words. Funny, because normally I would have just jumped over them and kept reading.

I also ploughed through a bunch of my dad's old National Geographics which he kept on a shelf in order, actually several shelves.

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Response to WCGreen (Reply #27)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 04:27 PM

158. 100 books?

Thankfully my kids were exposed to more than that.

Sadly, I doubt that is true for most students. The majority of students today will be exposed to more video games than books.

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Response to progressoid (Reply #158)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 05:13 PM

160. I was always a rabid reader and read far more than what was required.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #4)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 11:27 AM

79. not according to the program's website

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Response to WCGreen (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:04 AM

14. It's not just the notion of reading a couple of pieces of fiction here or there.

Some of the greatest introductions to the problems addressed during history were through works of fiction which were part of the curriculum. Whether it was reading works of Dickens or Austen or more modern writers like Hemingway or Orwell, these writers helped us look into the mindset of eras in a way that straight history texts cannot and that a technical book never will. Great works of literature tap into our humanity and its progression through time. When I was a kid in school, we were very fortunate to have teachers and a curriculum which introduced us to English and American, classical, and world literatures. In addition to the targeted classes, we had reading lists for outside reading. Up through eighth grade, the period after lunch was devoted discussions of what we had read that week and what we had gained from it. These were some of the most instructive periods of my life. I learned to love literature and appreciate the stories of us. I learned that you can tease out an author's thought processes and learn something about a time and a place. This reductive approach to teaching will have an impact.

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Response to WCGreen (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:21 AM

22. How many history classes did you take? How many "history" books did you read?

 

I'll bet some of it was fiction.

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #22)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 10:22 AM

51. We were taught History by looking at the great themes that ran through certain ages...

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Response to WCGreen (Reply #51)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 11:02 AM

70. .

 

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Response to WCGreen (Reply #1)


Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 08:48 AM

2. This is obscene.

Absolutely obscene. Creating worker drones without aspirations or the ability to critically think. Thank you, Bill Gates.

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Response to Skidmore (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 08:54 AM

5. Common Core. It's awful.

Listen to your teacher friends. What is happening to our children's schools is positively obscene.

I realize you know this. Just speaking to whoever is reading this and may be unaware of what is going on with our curriculum.

I'm just ill over this. Common Core is probably the worst of all the 'reforms'.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 08:50 AM

3. the dumbing down of americans

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Response to spanone (Reply #3)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 08:58 AM

8. Continues....

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Response to spanone (Reply #3)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:06 AM

17. Americas' Number One Product. STUPIDITY! n/t

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Response to spanone (Reply #3)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 11:17 AM

76. my sentiments exactly!

This is sad...

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 08:55 AM

6. I find this really reprehensible

And I imagine there are a lot of teachers out there who will be outraged by this.

We never, ever had a problem with the work force in this country. We've been among the best and we didn't have to be trained with fucking information textbooks.

This is beyond sad.

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Response to lunatica (Reply #6)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:03 AM

11. Doesn't matter whether teachers are outraged or not.

>>>And I imagine there are a lot of teachers out there who will be outraged by this. >>>>

The truth is: they have no power... or even any influence anymore... over what they teach and how.

Who does?

Obama, Duncan, Gates.... and a demographic of people like them: well-heeled, insulated, self-satisfied, ignorant.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 08:57 AM

7. The 70% is not restricted to English classes

It refers to all disciplines. That's why these articles are deceptive. They attempt to portray the Common Core as requiring 70% of English class texts to be "insulation manuals" and the like, whereas those could easily be introduced in science or shop classes.

The Common Core also doesn't dictate which fiction can be chosen locally, so the notion that Salinger's text (which is titled "THE Catcher in the Rye," not "Catcher in the Rye," by the way) has somehow been "dropped" from any school curriculum is patent nonsense.

So, what do we get out of this article? A false discussion of the core standards, a deceptive picture of how schools select texts for curriculum, and even a mis-titling of one of the most famous texts in American literature! Pretty dismal performance, all around.

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Response to alcibiades_mystery (Reply #7)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:04 AM

13. This is not nonsense. CC emphasizes non-fiction.

In order to meet the requirements for non-fiction, classic fiction literature is being dropped. I've seen the standards. Have you?

The larger picture of course is - do we really need/want a national curriculum? All kids dong the same thing at the same time? Is that what you want for YOUR child?

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #13)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:25 AM

26. I not sure that is true. Look at the Common Core website.

"There is no reading list to accompany the reading standards. Instead, students are simply expected to read a range of classic and contemporary literature as well as challenging informative texts from an array of subjects. This is so that students can acquire new knowledge, insights, and consider varying perspectives as they read. Teachers, school districts, and states are expected to decide on the appropriate curriculum, but sample texts are included to help teachers, students, and parents prepare for the year ahead.

The standards mandate certain critical types of content for all students, including classic myths and stories from around the world, foundational U.S. documents, seminal works of American literature, and the writings of Shakespeare. The standards appropriately defer the many remaining decisions about what and how to teach to states, districts, and schools."
http://www.corestandards.org/about-the-standards/key-points-in-english-language-arts

Are they lying or is the article in The Telegraph incorrect?

The suggested information texts are for more then just English classes, they are for social studies/history, science, and math classes as well.

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Response to Jennicut (Reply #26)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:37 AM

31. Thanks

 

Facts always seem to get in the way of a good rant!

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Response to Jennicut (Reply #26)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:48 AM

37. look here as well:

 


reading: informational text

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.7 Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words in order to address a question or solve a problem.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.8 Delineate and evaluate the reasoning in seminal U.S. texts, including the application of constitutional principles and use of legal reasoning (e.g., in U.S. Supreme Court majority opinions and dissents) and the premises, purposes, and arguments in works of public advocacy (e.g., The Federalist, presidential addresses).

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.9 Analyze seventeenth-, eighteenth-, and nineteenth-century foundational U.S. documents of historical and literary significance (including The Declaration of Independence, the Preamble to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address) for their themes, purposes, and rhetorical features.

http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/RI/11-12


i studied similar texts in HS, but not in english class. to the extent that such texts are studied in english, less literature is being studied.



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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #37)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 10:03 AM

41. This is great literature and English Class is the best way to talk about

all of the nuance that is glossed over in History class.

The imagery of the Declaration of Independence, the Gettysburg Address, Washington's Farewell Speech are important to be studied so that people truly understand what was going on back then.

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Response to WCGreen (Reply #41)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 10:10 AM

44. I have no problem with analyzing these texts. But that used to be done in history/social studies,

 

not in english classes.

and to the extent that it's done in english classes, it takes time from other texts. which is the point: non-fiction texts are being emphasized over fiction texts.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #44)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 10:15 AM

45. It is great writing that has a deep meaning.

Someone who knows and understands what these great Americans actually said and how they choose their words to speech to the country is a great way to fall in love with the richness of the English Language.

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Response to WCGreen (Reply #45)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 10:27 AM

53. Regardless, reading historical documents in english class takes class time away from reading

 

literature: WHICH IS WHAT THIS OP IS ABOUT.

And if you're reading the declaration of independence in english class, what are you doing in history class?

I personally would argue that it's counterproductive to study such texts in english class as understanding them at a serious level requires teaching the historical background simultaneously. which wastes time in an english class and isn't always easy to coordinate with the history class.

and their recommendation to read supreme court cases in english class seems to me to be a recommendation to turn off most of the class, as the language used is rarely beautiful and often obscure. history is a better place to read landmark cases.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #53)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 01:08 PM

129. I am of the opinion that Social Studies and English should be integrated

I did this for two years with my daughter for Homeschool, and it turned out very well. As we were studying eras in history, we studied the literature of the time (Greek studied the Iliad, Odyssey, and Oedipus Rex, Julius Caesar and I Claudius video for Rome, How the Irish Saved Civilization for the Dark Ages, Undaunted Courage for early American history (along with Washington Irving short stories), and Poe for early/mid-18th century literature.

This was when she was a 7th-8th grader. She is back in the school system, and that link is broken (Romeo and Juliet at the same time as the Civil War for example).

The problem I have is that literature teachers destroy the learning process for literature. I absolutely do not like the detailed questions about irrelevant facts which are asked for the quizes. I had my daughter write compare and contrast essays on pieces of work (for example comparing a literature text with a modern text).

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Response to exboyfil (Reply #129)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 04:00 PM

153. They were when I was in high school, all taught in "home room."

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Response to exboyfil (Reply #129)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 08:51 PM

171. They tried to integrate history and English at my high school

IMHO, it didn't work very well.

When we were studying ancient civilizations we read "Antigone," when we studied the Renaissance we read "Romeo and Juliet," when we studied the industrial revolution we read "Great Expectations," when we studied WWI we read "All Quiet on the Western Front," and I really don't remember what else we read but there wasn't much else assigned.

It felt like the history held back the study of English literature, and it didn't contribute enough to learning the books or vice versa to make it worthwhile.

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Response to WCGreen (Reply #45)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 10:40 AM

58. I agree the Constitution et al is crucial – but what are they studying in the Poli Sci class?

Or is that gone, too?

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Response to WCGreen (Reply #45)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 05:59 PM

192. Those things are specifically legal and political documents, they are not literature.

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #192)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 07:15 AM

193. They are, indeed, legal in nature, but the choice of words make them, to me, at

least, literary...

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #44)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 12:26 PM

115. Are you sure it won't still be? Just because it's called "reading" doesn't mean

it can't take place in a social studies class, i.e., "reading across the curriculum."

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #37)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 12:25 PM

111. Maybe this is more of a "reading across the curriculum" thing. The items here would all fit into

a social studies or history class, which would deliberately incorporate reading and analysis of texts.

I agree that it would be a tragedy if students were expected to read about insulation in English literature class.

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Response to Jennicut (Reply #26)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 10:56 AM

66. Or talk to the teachers who know what's in this curriculum

That website is full of misinformation.

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Response to Jennicut (Reply #26)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 11:40 AM

86. CC includes a 'set' of base items.

"• Complexity. Appendix A describes in detail a three-part model of measuring text complexity based on qualitative and quantitative indices of inherent text difficulty balanced with educators’ professional judgment in matching readers and texts in light of particular tasks. In selecting texts to serve as exemplars, the work group began by soliciting contributions from teachers, educational leaders, and researchers who have experience working with students in the grades for which the texts have been selected. These contributors were asked to recommend texts that they or their colleagues have used successfully with students in a given grade band. The work group made final selections based in part on whether qualitative and quantitative measures indicated that the recommended texts were of sufficient complexity for the grade band. For those types of texts—particularly poetry and multimedia sources—for which these measures are not as well suited, professional judgment necessarily played a greater role in selection.
• Quality. While it is possible to have high-complexity texts of low inherent quality, the work group solicited only texts of recognized value. From the pool of submissions gathered from outside contributors, the work group selected classic or historically significant texts as well as contemporary works of comparable literary merit, cultural significance, and rich content.
• Range. After identifying texts of appropriate complexity and quality, the work group applied other criteria to ensure that the samples presented in each band represented as broad a range of sufficiently complex, high- quality texts as possible. Among the factors considered were initial publication date, authorship, and subject matter"


http://www.corestandards.org/the-standards

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Response to Jennicut (Reply #26)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 12:11 PM

106. The person who are responding to is a teacher

ALL teachers are familiar with it. Do not post Bill Gates-inspired hogwash.

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Response to duffyduff (Reply #106)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:42 PM

174. Thank you

Welcome to DU!

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #13)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 10:59 AM

68. Do we really want a national curriculum?

Guidelines OK.

Teaching to standardized tests--No.

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #68)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 12:25 PM

113. Not me! n/t

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #68)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 02:18 PM

137. Don't we want equality?

Aren't we for equality for all? Equal rights and opportunity? Don't we advocate national standards for civil rights (reproductive choice, gay marriage, labor laws) and national standards for environmental protection? Aren't we always pushing for equal standards in almost everything else? Why is education different?

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Response to oldhippie (Reply #137)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 04:02 PM

154. Teachers involved could answer this Q better than I can

--but my answer is that while national guidelines are fine, one size does not fit all. It's the lack of flexibility. With-holding funds for systems that fail can lead to an overemphasis on testing, promoting teaching "to the test." Many educators feel this is unfair to students. Too much rigidity in testing can foster mediocrity and not really help the "child left behind"... and lead to burdensome complexity in administration. And with corporations in control of the government, this lays a foundation for corporates deciding what constitutes an education.

Read up on the pros and cons.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #13)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 12:05 PM

100. Bill Gates needs to butt out of education policy

This ignoramus and his ilk are doing untold damage to education in this country.

"Common core" is a bunch of nonsense which disregards local and regional differences. We are a far more diverse country than those countries in Europe.

Furthermore, companies need to go back to training on the job and not rely on schools to do their work for them.

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Response to duffyduff (Reply #100)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 05:20 PM

163. Indeed, he only went to elite private schools

He doesn't have a clue about the needs and challenges of public school students and teachers.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #13)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 04:05 PM

194. We've had almost a national curriculum for a long time...

...but it hasn't come from the federal government. It's come from the Texas state board of education.

I don't want Great Books replaced with books on insulation, no. I also don't want science books replaced with "there are many theories on the creation of the universe and none of them have been proven correct so none of them will be presented in this course" because seven fundamentalist Christians in Texas are pissed they can't use Genesis 1 as a science book. So...how do we fix it?

And Catcher? Come on. Can't they teach books NOT narrated by whiny assholes, like The Grapes of Wrath?

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Response to alcibiades_mystery (Reply #7)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:34 AM

30. shop classes have nothing to do with common core.

 

Key Points In English Language Arts

Through reading a diverse array of classic and contemporary literature as well as challenging informational texts in a range of subjects, students are expected to build knowledge, gain insights, explore possibilities, and broaden their perspective...

http://www.corestandards.org/about-the-standards/key-points-in-english-language-arts

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Response to alcibiades_mystery (Reply #7)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 11:17 AM

75. Ah--the Edumaction threads!!! Now, using the Torygraph! nt

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Response to alcibiades_mystery (Reply #7)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 12:09 PM

105. This of course is not true

"Common Core" is a Bill and Melinda Gates-style load of hogwash where everybody in every school district in the United States is taught the same thing at the same time.

Standardized curriculum which ignores regional and local differences, to say nothing of differences BETWEEN students, so the purveyors of textbooks and testing materials (i.e., Pearson) can get even more rich.

You have to be in the field to truly understand what this is all about.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:00 AM

9. Killing creativity

and lateral thinking. Also those books teach the history of our society.

Terrible. I support public education but this is insanity.

The Gates Foundation-- how "philanthropy" can be used to further corporate interests.

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #9)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 10:09 AM

43. I just read the English Curriculum for English and it is spelled out very well.

Look for yourself and see the wide range of literature the students are exposed too.

It's a great way to cross study a curriculum.

http://www.corestandards.org/assets/CCSSI_ELA%20Standards.pdf

Just look at it. It is very goal oriented and pretty demanding.

Hell they have Walden as a book.

And that is for the regular run of the mill student.

The closest most of my piers in high school came to Thoreau was the street in Lakewood, Ohio.

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Response to WCGreen (Reply #43)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 10:18 AM

49. you 'just' read all 66 pages of the standards (not a curriculum, btw)? why do i doubt that?

 

you missed the point about that list of texts being 'illustrative' btw. that is not a recommended reading list, it's a list of examples of texts at the recommended complexity level for each grade level.

each district/school still has to write its own curriculum in fulfillment of the standards -- another unfunded expense in this boondoggle.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:01 AM

10. USA, Incorporated, preparing Americas' future serfs and lemmings for their

lot in life as worker bees scumming to authoritarianism and the stifling of being creative.

Thou will worship $$$$, repeat, thou will worship $$$$$. There is zero tolerance for non-conformity to the norm.

I wonder if there will also be required reading of 'prison life,' as the USA, Incorporated prison establishment expands for greater profitability and incarceration of the masses for profit $$$$$.


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Response to RKP5637 (Reply #10)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 11:36 AM

83. You forgot the 2nd Commandment: Thou shalt diddle thy smartphone incessantly. - n/t

 

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #83)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 11:46 AM

91. Definitely, and that could get one life for disobedience of the 2nd Commandment! n/t

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:03 AM

12. They have been teaching keyboarding and data entry for years in grade school.

 

Play activities have been cut back. Everything is geared toward teaching to the tests, which the kids need to pass for the school to get the money they need just to stay open. And as mentioned in another thread, charter schools, which is another name for corporate owned schools, keep stealing the money needed to educate our children.

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Response to melm00se (Reply #15)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:23 AM

23. Thanks for the link. Very informative

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:05 AM

16. Goddamned phonies!

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Response to JVS (Reply #16)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:08 AM

19. Nicely done!

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:08 AM

18. When will they start recommending that we burn books as in the book "Fahrenheit 451"....

....that don't conform to these so-called standards?

This is truly obscene.

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Response to OldDem2012 (Reply #18)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:44 AM

35. Didnt Sarah Palin have a banned books list?

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Response to davidn3600 (Reply #35)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 10:34 AM

56. Short list - she only "wrote" one book, IIRC

Anyway, "Going Rogue" is on my list of books I'll never read.

Er, wait, you mean she has a list of books she doesn't want to read? Probably every book that doesn't talk about hunting or fishing.

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Response to OldDem2012 (Reply #18)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 10:17 AM

48. It's ironic that book is one of the books studied under this English Language Curriculum.

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Response to OldDem2012 (Reply #18)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 10:45 AM

61. Farenheit 451

is one of the books suggested in the curriculum. What's obscene is the yellow journalism is the original article.

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Response to Brainstormy (Reply #61)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 11:15 AM

73. The study of "yellow journalism" should be part of the English curriculum

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #73)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 11:38 AM

84. Couldn't students just pick up a copy of any Gannett paper from today and

 

have 'yellow journalism' down pat?

JK

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #84)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 11:45 AM

90. The objective should be to analyse the rhetorical techniques of yellow journalism in a class setting

Not just read it.

Is rhetoric taught anymore?

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:11 AM

20. I can't imagine what use the California Invasive Plant Inventory would serve

Don't get me wrong, I use it for work, but it's not particularly interesting or well written.

If the goal is to expose students to decent nonfiction, have them read books about history or science or other cultures or something that will capture the imaginations of the students.

In one of my high school classes, the teacher read excerpts from "The Hot Zone" every Wednesday. That class ruled.

Students will have the whole rest of their lives to read boring technical manuals.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:17 AM

21. The thing about art or music or literature ...

is that it opens your mind. The results are not always measurable perhaps, but cultivating an imagination and a sense of what may be possible can change a child's (or adult's) entire life. Art and music classes have been being chipped away for years now. Very practicle people are sometimes fooled into thinking this is a good thing, because it saves money, but I think the quality of the education drops. I think the student's quality of life is improved by having been exposed to art and literature in a classroom setting, early on. It teaches you to think. It really does.

But, without going too conspiratorial here, many of the powers that be don't want a free-thinking, inspired, and creative populous. They want robots who don't know their lives could be more.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:24 AM

24. Tough call.

With nearly 20 years under my belt since high school graduation, I can see how A LOT of novels and other literature were totally lost on me (and I was no academic slouch, either.) I didn't really begin to understand and appreciate literature until a few years after college. Now, who knows if what I read in high school and college prepared me for that, but in retrospect, it sure doesn't seem that way.

Because of my own experiences, I'm all for students reading material that interests them (of course insulation and invasive plants probably don't qualify). Shakespeare and 'Death Be Not Proud' were torture in high school. They can, and should, find something that might accomplish the goal, not hinder it.

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Response to sadbear (Reply #24)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:39 AM

32. I'm of a few minds on this

Kids should read the classics, but the way they're "taught" is awful.

I still remember an assignment from freshman English in high school where I had to write a paragraph about every single character in "Great Expectations," even the characters who only have one scene in the entire book. I also recall discussions about, say, chapter 5 of "1984," where you couldn't talk about what happens in chapters 6 onward when analyzing the chapter because most of the students hadn't read past chapter 5.

A good part of my brain thinks that if you're going to try to do hardcore literary analysis, you may as well assign something like "Teh Lion, teh Witch, and teh Wardrobe," have the kids read the whole thing over the weekend, and then spend a week or two picking the corpse clean. There's enough there to look at that the class will be kept busy, but it's easy enough and the metaphors are ham-handed enough that even the slower learners will be able to participate in the discussion. Then after the class has finished that, then use what you've learned to go on to something harder, like Steinbeck.

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Response to XemaSab (Reply #32)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 04:24 PM

157. Great Expectations.

As a 15 year old bored me stiff. I suppose I should re-read it just to see if my 15 year old self was right.

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Response to sadbear (Reply #24)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 12:20 PM

110. I Think It Comes Down

to choosing appropriate books for highschoolers. Not only the hardness and complexity of the book, but the subject matter itself. I remember slogging through "Return of the Native" in 10th grade. We could read the book and understand the surface, but we didn't have the life experience to understand what was really going on, as it commented on adult society. Consequently, it was a horrible bore about people in old-fashioned clothes and I swore I hated anything by Thomas Hardy. I got absolutely nothing out of it. Much, much later I saw the movie "Jude" and decided to read Thomas Hardy's "Jude the Obscure." I LOVED it. Of course, I was in my 40's and knew what the hell they were talking about, also a comment on adult society which I then understood.

I was in a "special" reading group in 6th grade where we read adult novels, including Shakespeare, but the teacher picked books in which the subject matter would be of interest to intelligent 6th graders. We read about 10 books, none of which turned me off the way "Return" did.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:28 AM

28. To be fair, "Invasive Plant Inventory" is a lot more interesting than you might think


It's a lot like Grapes of Wrath, but told from the point of view of the grapes.

Those invasive plants are going places.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #28)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:40 AM

33. .

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #28)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 10:16 AM

47. you sound bullish on invasive plant species

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #28)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 10:51 AM

63. I, for one, welcome our Oriental Bittersweet and Porcelain Berry masters

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #28)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 11:42 AM

89. Bravo! Instant DUZY! Tip of my hat! - n/t

 

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:29 AM

29. Here is where parental involvement

is key. Take the kids to the library. We went every Saturday. It's free, and everyone gets to learn something.

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Response to Aerows (Reply #29)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:51 AM

38. Yup, but every spring and fall they should be voting the fuckers out that support this horseshit

From the library they can spend a few minuets writing letters to the said fuckers demanding they stop gutting our education system and trying to turn all the poor and working class kids into drones for the Wally World hive.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:41 AM

34. Was it ever in the curriculum?

I read neither "To Kill a Mockingbird" nor "Catcher in the Rye" in high school -- and I went to an excellent high school.

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Response to Brickbat (Reply #34)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 10:42 AM

59. To Kill a Mockingbird is standard reading in middle schools around the country, but

Catcher in the Rye would usually be on a reading list but not required of students. This book, if you recall, has been on many censorship lists throughout the country.

Typically students had to get parental consent to read this book because of the foul language and of Holden Caulfiend's encounter with a prostitute.

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Response to Brickbat (Reply #34)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 11:40 AM

87. I've never read either one. We had "Moby Dick" and "Beowulf".

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #87)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 03:49 PM

152. The prudes will probably zero in on MD next, for all the latent

 

gay themes. Ishmael, Ahab and Starbuck - a menage a trois for the ages.

OTOH, Starbucks may use its corporate influence to keep MD in the curriculum and go for some nifty product placement.

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #152)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 04:05 PM

155. Hell, if I had known there were ANY interesting themes in Moby Dick,

I might have actually READ the damn book. Instead of random chapters and Cliff's Notes--just enough to do the paper.

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #155)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 05:50 PM

165. MD is a wonderful novel and bears repeated readings. Unfortunately, its length and complexity

 

deter many people from diving in (npi). One of Melville's later novels, The Confidence Man, anticipates modernist and post-modernist fiction in the 20th Century and would do Nabokov proud.

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #165)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 09:55 AM

181. Good

to seen another MD fan as they seem few and far between. I read it for a course and the the professor had written his dissertation using MD as one of his sources. He really helped me appreciate it and discover interesting insights in it. I wrote a paper about MD having modernist elements.

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #165)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 04:48 PM

190. Moby Dick is the greatest book I've ever read

And I'm a girly-girl type whose tastes don't normally run toward swarthy sea adventures.

The last three chapters are so blazingly brilliant, I was literally awestruck. It gave me a new awareness of the soaring heights that can be reached with the written word. I finished the last page and turned right back to page one.

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Response to Brickbat (Reply #34)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 12:25 PM

114. In My School

in the '70's both were in the curriculum. I did not read "Mockingbird" in my class, but did read "Catcher." I happen to love "Catcher" and always have. It gave me permission to have an attitude that I naturally had, but felt alone in having. It was the first time I ever saw myself in literature.

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Response to Brickbat (Reply #34)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 12:36 PM

119. We read To Kill a Mockingbird in 6th grade in a Catholic school

My public school friends read it in high school.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:46 AM

36. I just went through the list of the Fiction for the high school aged kids and there was a lot of

good stuff.

It's structured but they do have The Grapes of Wraith, MacBeth, Little Women, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Fahrenheit 451, A Raisin in the Sun and The Great Gatsby.

Some of the non-fiction reading include the Gettysburg Address, Harriett Tubman: Conductor on the underground Rail Road, George Washington's Farewell Address, Common Sense, Walden and Politics and the English Language.

It's pretty comprehensive list of American Literature and letters.

And this is for all the kids in High School. I wish they had this structure so that many of my friends who were not required to take regular English Classes after 10th grade were taught how to read and understand these important American letters.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:59 AM

39. The book is titled 'The Catcher in the Rye' and the article gets that wrong...

This is from The Telegraph, not a paper that has much use for specificity or nuance in language but still if your point is that a book is very important and you fail to get so much as the title correct that's just lazy.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #39)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 11:48 AM

92. "Catcher in the Rye" is an acceptable short-form title in popular parlance, methinks. Not

 

that I'm disagreeing with you about overall journalistic laziness, mind you. I'd wager the person who wrote the article has not read Catcher (How's that for short-form? Not to be confused with Catch, the short-form title for Catch 22, another title which should absolutely be available to high school students, preferably before they enlist

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 10:01 AM

40. It seems like they want to kill all beauty, art, and the human imagination.

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Response to sinkingfeeling (Reply #40)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 01:39 PM

132. They want a nation of compliant worker drones

who will not question their roles.

Their children will still study these things, in their gated private schools.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 10:08 AM

42. "The Catcher in The Rye" is a horrible book.

I had to read it in college freshman English.

Who the hell wants to read about the imaginary travails of some upper middle class preppy adolescent from New York?

I'd rather read about insulation and invasive species.

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #42)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 10:20 AM

50. We read A Separate Peace instead....

I guess this take on upper class privileged kids in the 60's would speak to us better than Holden could.

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Response to WCGreen (Reply #50)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 10:26 AM

52. I read both...

and The Catcher in the Rye was much more appealing to this male as a teenager.

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #42)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 10:31 AM

54. I Suppose If Someone Has To Explain It To You...

...you would never understand.

-P

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Response to WiffenPoof (Reply #54)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 10:56 AM

65. What percent of public HS students have the experience to relate to Holden Caulfield?

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #65)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 11:18 AM

77. Yeah, but that goes for pretty much every piece of literature they make kids read.

I gotta tell ya, Lord of the Flies didn't mean that much to me as a high school freshman. And Hamlet? Forget about it.

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #65)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 11:55 AM

95. Oh, I'd guess about 99%. But I'm assuming that the prevalence of phonies is

 

as high now as it was when I was in high school.

Note my clever appropriation of Occupy's '99%" trope? Come on, you can at least give me a pat on the back for that

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #95)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 11:59 AM

97. Phonies...

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #65)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 12:34 PM

118. This Minute Percentage

I was a teenage middle class female when I read "Catcher" and I related to it completely. The prep school and the NYC setting meant nothing to me. Here was a person who was learning that much of the adult world was BS, something I was learning at the time, but felt alone in feeling. It made me realize that other people had these same thoughts.

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Response to RobinA (Reply #118)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 01:03 PM

128. Me too...^^This^^!

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #65)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 12:46 PM

122. (*sigh*).

I think you just proved my point.

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #65)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 05:53 PM

166. I imagine many people believe the reading lists should indeed be dumbed down

I imagine many people believe the reading lists should indeed be dumbed down to better accommodate their own personal reading tastes...

On the other hand, many students are given the experience through the book itself. Quite the novel idea to some, but there it is.

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #65)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 09:27 AM

179. Our English class read The Sound and the Fury junior year.

Not many kids in CA relate to the experience of being a family of decaying Southern aristocrats. But we enjoyed it.

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Response to Starry Messenger (Reply #179)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 11:59 AM

186. Ha-ha. I get to tell my Faulkner joke. Turns out William sent the galleys of

 

The Sound and the Fury to his mother before final printing.

"I like it, Bill," his mother wrote to him. "But the first chapter sounds like it was written by an idiot."

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #186)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 04:26 PM

189. OMG.

lololol. I needed that!

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #42)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 10:50 AM

62. I didn't like it either, far better options out there.

And ever since that a-hole shot John Lennon, "The Catcher in the Rye" has been on my shit list.

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Response to KurtNYC (Reply #62)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 12:01 PM

98. Ever since Charles Manson, the Beatles' "Helter Skelter" has been on my

 

shit list.

Ever since Altamont, I can't get no satisfaction.

(in case it's needed)

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #42)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 11:52 AM

94. Your reading assignment this week, should you accept it, is to

 

re-read "CitR". I'll bet you won't think it's so horrible now, upon re-reading it, especially after having watched Romney and BushCo in action over the past 12 years.

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #94)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 06:14 PM

169. I'm busy with "Union 1812: The Americans Who Fought the Second War of Independence"

It is really a treatment of the period 1783 through 1815, which relates the key events as a series of biographical vignettes of notable figures.

Among them are politcians as phony as any we have currently.

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #169)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 03:55 AM

176. OK, you're excused this week. But I will expect it re-read over the holidays and

 

a book report no later than Jan 1

On a serious note, that period of American history is one I could do with some further exposure to. I tend to focus almost exclusively on the Civil War era. Too many books, too little time, eh?

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #176)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 09:54 AM

180. "Thinking Fast and Slow" and "Physics of the Future" are already in queue

I'm not sure why I'd want to go back and re-read old fiction.

(Well, OK, I guess Michio Kaku might be considered fiction.)

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #42)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 11:59 AM

96. i didn't have to read it for school ... chose to read it on my own ... wanted to slap that spoiled

whiney brat Holden.

did not see the big deal about that book

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Response to Scout (Reply #96)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 12:05 PM

101. OMG. Holden is John Lauber to Stradlater's Mitt Romney. You

 

really need to re-read it, methinks.

Stradlater is dating\having sex with a girl whose first name he can't even remember correctly, for fuck's sake.

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #101)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 03:03 PM

142. LOL

didn't even remember what the fuck you are referring to ... that's how much of an impression it did not make on me.

methinks you take it way too seriously. YMMV.

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Response to Scout (Reply #142)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 03:06 PM

144. OK. I live my life vicariously through the protagonists of novels and histories, I confess. But

 

seriously, I'm pretty sure you would enjoy re-reading it now and would not think of Holden quite so cavalierly.

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #42)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:13 PM

172. Second your sentiment

So much better literature out there to read. I also think James Joyce is the most overrated writer in history.

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Response to exboyfil (Reply #172)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 03:50 AM

175. Joyce more overrated than, say, Horatio Alger? More overrated than, oh,

 

Thackeray?

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #175)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 08:20 AM

178. Most best novels list

have two of his novels (Ulysses and Portrait) in the top three (I found both to be nearly unreadable). I would not put either one even in the top 10. That is overrated. I am uncertain of an order, but I would list novels like Huck Finn, The Sun Also Rises, I, Claudius, Brave New World, The Great Gatsby, The Grapes of Wrath, and Blood Meridian as my personal favorites.

I am more into non-fiction these days. I probably should read more literature. I often read the novels/plays that my children are studying in school and discuss the novels with them. Now to find my copy of Romeo and Juliet (which is vastly inferior in my opinion to Julius Caesar which should be the entry level novel into Shakespeare). My younger daughter feels the same (she read Julius Caesar with me in 8th grade and is doing Romeo and Juliet this year with her 9th grade class).

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Response to exboyfil (Reply #178)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 11:56 AM

185. Technical note: JC and RandJ are 'plays,' not 'novels'. If I were going

 

to teach Shakespeare to 8th graders, I'd start them with "Midsummer Night's Dream" (probably watching a film version, rather than reading it in Elizabethan English.) Once you have them laughing at the antics of Bottom and Hippolyta, they're putty in your hands.

Pay no attention to 'Best Novels' lists and suchlike. They're usually constructed around highly arbitrary and non-transparent criteria. But I challenge you to read any dreck by Alger and still think Joyce not worth the trouble If you want something by Joyce that's a little more readily accessible, try his 'Dubliners' short-story collection, specifically "Araby." Or his short novel, "The Dead." (John Huston directed a wonderful film version of it, btw.)

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #185)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 02:35 PM

188. My daughter loved Julius Caesar

of course we read it and watched the play as well. Discussed it thoroughly. Advantage to Homeschooling. I will try out your Joyce recommendations. Thanks. I was also going to give Ulysses another try now that I am ten years older. I don't know much about Alger since I never read any of his books (just heard them being lambasted as formulaic) - most of the stuff I read as kid could be classified in the formula variety though (why a 24th Tarzan novel for example). I still will put up Hemingway, Steinbeck, Faulkner, Twain, and Fitzgerald (even Cormac McCarthy) to Joyce.

I was never that fond of Shakespeare's comedies. I do love his tragedies though (especially King Lear and Macbeth). Macbeth was my favorite as a teenager and King Lear my favorite as an adult with children. Not sure what that says about me and my relationship with my children.

At some point you hopefully mature (I still love my Harry Bosch though - kind of like drinking alone so that your friends don't know.).

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Response to exboyfil (Reply #188)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 05:55 PM

191. "Midsummer Night's Dream" is an eminently watchable play. I vastly prefer seeing it to

 

reading it. My wife and I saw a production at Theatricum Botannicum in Malibu a few years ago that had both of us rolling in the aisles we were laughing so hard. TB out here has a very Elizabethan feel to it, as it is theater in round with no proscenium arch.

Glad your daughter liked JC. Now that she's a little older, you might run Henry V by her (the film version directed by and starring Kenneth Brannagh). I will never read or see that play the same way ever again after seeing the Brannagh film.

When it comes to thrillers, I'm more a fan of Lee Child and (more recently) Tana French. The latter is an Irish novelist and writes gripping psychological thrillers. Lee Child (whose character Jack Reacher is going to be featured in some new Hollywood blockbuster with Tom Cruise soon) is a guilty pleasure. Thinking man's liberal crime writer.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 10:15 AM

46. I don't think that was part of the reading list when I went

 

To h.s. I read the catcher in the rye after I got out of high school on my own. Great book, but not required, at least, not in my school, which was a good one.

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Response to quinnox (Reply #46)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 12:08 PM

104. Long before there was DU, there was 'Catcher in the Rye Underground.' I went

 

to high school in the Bible Belt with the crazies. Fortunately, my parents turned me on to it when I was a freshman or sophomore.

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Response to quinnox (Reply #46)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 02:16 PM

136. I didn't read it at school either. And I can just imagine the complaints that classmates would have

But it's a great book. Hilarious and students would be well served to read it as an example of the unreliable narrator.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 10:31 AM

55. This sounds incredibly misguided

I can't imagine staying awake myself through the EPA "Recommended Levels of Insulation" document, much less the "Invasive Plant Inventory" paper. A teenager is just going to zone out.

I think non-fiction reading is important, but it should be incorporated into biology and history classes, etc.* Adolescents need to be engaged by good literature and their imaginations need to be fed. We will regret creating a generation of policy wonkish, noncreative citizens.

*My daughter attended an IB program at a public high school. The focus of that curriculum is text based, so history classes and science classes had no textbooks but rather used primary documents and papers, much like a college course in science or history. (Also, rather than objective tests, the students had to write papers and essays.) That's where they got those kinds of nonfiction, technical reading and analytic skills. But English class was all about fiction and poetry.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 10:37 AM

57. Common Core is a Bill Gates scam

It needs to be fought tooth and nail.

Reading novels is important in K-12, not just so students can appreciate the cultural foundations of this country, but it also helps them with their creativity and imagination. Reading in general improves writing ability.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 10:43 AM

60. curriculum is definitely one of the issues that needs to be addressed

We need to quit trying to see how much information we can cram down the kids' throats and focus more on critical thinking.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 10:58 AM

67. Has always been this way. One of the most read and most banned books for

High Schools of all time.

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Response to harun (Reply #67)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 11:39 AM

85. yeah you can't have controversial books in the school curriculum

That would create people who think for themselves.


I love the fact that public libraries encourage people to read banned books. Who knew public libraries could be such rebels?

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 11:01 AM

69. This is outrage!

We need to have these works of fiction being read by students, or we will lose our culture?
This is a war on culture.
What are we going to do, teach legalese, and techno, BEFORE we teach plain English?
This will, no doubt, backfire.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 11:02 AM

71. i just figured out what to give my grandsons for christmas.

they need some good literature.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 11:08 AM

72. Ridiculous, uninformed hysteria. There's no such thing as a "US school curriculum"

English teachers will still have their kids read Catcher in the Rye. There is no single binding curriculum for all US schools. Whoever told this British reporter that the Governor's Association is influential is either some podunk governor's aid or the mewling idiot he works for. I've been a certified English teacher for 24 years and I've never even heard of the Council of Chief State School Officers making curriculum recommendations. It was probably a report submitted to the CCSSO, which is an non-binding administrative support organization.

Nothing that led to this news report has any teeth to it.

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Response to Bucky (Reply #72)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 11:26 AM

78. Not here in Texas...

Holden says goddamn too many times, and we must protect our precious young Texans' eyes.

Seriously, even if a senior-level English teacher tried to assign The Catcher in the Rye to graduating seniors, we'd have too many parents up in arms about it. And in Texas, most school districts simply don't care enough to take on ignorant parents.

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Response to sadbear (Reply #78)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 03:16 PM

146. Ironically, I teach in Texas. Plenty of them assign Catcher in the Rye to read.

This is Houston, mind you, but it's a bigger part of Texas than anywhere else.

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Response to Bucky (Reply #72)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 02:58 PM

139. you're a teacher and you've never heard of common core? no, it's not a curriculum -- but

 

curriculums in most states will need to be written in accordance with it -- or be denied funding.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 11:16 AM

74. They probably keep Bob Ueker's Catcher in the Wry. n/t

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 11:30 AM

81. Heretical notion here. "Catcher in the Rye" should not be 'taught' in

 

high-school English classes, because parental and community pressures would inevitably cause a Bowdlerization in its presentation. Instead, enterprising (and subversive) high-school English teachers who frequent DU should purchase paperback copies of same and give as gifts to their prized students, said paper-back copies then to be passed around like some high-school samizdat to subvert the 'phonies' whenever and wherever they might arise.

Teaching CITR in high school seems akin to Constantine's making Christianity the official state religion of Rome. But maybe that's just me.

Go Phoebe! Go Holden! Down with the phonies.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 11:41 AM

88. These people are frickin' mental.

I have spoken.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 11:48 AM

93. Yeah, 'cause fuck the arts

and fuck creativity - unless it can be monitized.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 12:06 PM

102. Maybe we could find a way to sneak Smedley Butler's "War is a Racket" in to the curriculum...

... if these are taken out? Of course not as a book for "literature" but as a historical text...

That book even in my days of youth when the curriculum was more "liberal" and informing would definitely have woken me up earlier to what's been going on.



I know there's probably no chance... But one can still have some wishful thinking!

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Response to cascadiance (Reply #102)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 12:12 PM

107. Or any article by Chris Heges in the past 10 years.- n/t

 

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 12:07 PM

103. It's the Telegraph. Say no more. Say no more.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 12:13 PM

108. And of course this news comes from offshore, but thank God for it!

If OPs are intros to an article with a link attached, my eye immediately goes to the source of the article first. More and more of the news about our country comes from other countries.

Our America is being changed, slowly but surely. They took away phys.ed., and now our children are overweight. Art, Music, some schools now don't even have libraries. And now this. Taking away literature. Literature teaches you to think and to feel. To concentrate and put two and two together. You learn how to write by reading fiction, It builds your vocabulary. It puts you in someone else's shoes. It opens your mind.

Nonfiction is good too, buttttt.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 12:33 PM

117. Other than saying that Catcher in the Rye has been banned in many schools, can anyone explain why

 

that book is important?

Does the author introduce particular concepts? From a rhetorical point of view, is the book particularly well-written? What, exactly, is the importance of the book?

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #117)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 12:39 PM

121. I Can Tell You Why

it was when I read it in the early '70's and still is today important to me. It is because it was the first time I read something that reflected my own feelings of disaffection. I had a lot of thoughts and felt I must be crazy. But here was an adult male writing a book about a character who had the same feelings. I felt enormously validated and a lot less crazy. It helped me realize that one can look to books for more than just a good story.

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #117)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 12:50 PM

124. It's not. It's just a lousy whinefest

about some overprivileged white kid who hates everyone and everything around him.

I read some books in high school I couldn't stand--Animal Farm, Lord of the Flies--but I understood why we read them. They're rich with literary concepts and they present them in such a ham-fisted manner that you'd have to be a real putz not to see them.

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Response to Arkana (Reply #124)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 01:00 PM

127. It's just a lousy whinefest about some overpivileged white kid . . . who suffers

 

a nervous breakdown but is determined to save his younger sister Phoebe from suffering the same alienation and disillusionment he has experienced.

Other lousy whinefests in American literature: Huckleberry Finn - whinefest about slavery, A Farewell to Arms - whinefest about World War I, Grapes of Wrath - whinefest about poverty, Catch 22 - whinefest about modern American capitalism and militarism.

(in case it's needed).



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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #127)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 02:25 PM

138. Yeah, I read Huck Finn and Grapes of Wrath, and those are different

because they were actually good stories.

But there's nothing redeeming about Holden Caulfield. At all.

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Response to Arkana (Reply #138)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 03:00 PM

141. Have you ever known someone whom you saw headed for potential

 

disaster and tried to warn him or her off or save him or her from it? If so, how did it turn out for you? I really think you owe Catcher a re-read.

Just a friendly suggestion

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Response to Arkana (Reply #138)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 03:12 PM

145. Holden stands among giants like Ignatius Reilly, he doesn't need redemption.

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Response to JVS (Reply #145)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 03:26 PM

149. Holden stands on the shoulders of Huckleberry Finn, imho. - n/t

 

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #149)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 06:05 PM

167. What precisely leads you to that conclusion?

What precisely leads you to that conclusion?

As Huck seemed to observe without judgement his culture, while Holden appeared to judge his culture and himself more than observing...

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Response to LanternWaste (Reply #167)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 06:20 PM

170. Both Huck and Holden are willing to throw themselves away to rescue

 

someone whom they love (Jim in Huck's case, Phoebe in Holden's). I'd say that shared willingness to sacrifice themselves matters far more than either's judgmentalism or lack thereof. Read the Ackley toenail scene (as seen through Holden's eyes) and tell me he isn't 'observing'

'Stand on the shoulders,' however, means that Holden has a great literary forbear on whose shoulders he stands, yes?

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #117)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 02:59 PM

140. Hmm, not sure I can answer why the book is "important." I can tell you that I have read it

 

at several distinct points in my life (early teen years, early 20s, 40s) and each time the novel still speaks to me. Funny thing is that each time it speaks differently. Thus, as an early teen, I read in it a manifesto of adolescent rebellion. In my 20s, I read it as a declaration of the alienation and loneliness of modern life. In my 40s, I read it while feeling intense 'regret' for all those I had not been able to save, all the Phoebes who must of necessity grow up to experience alienation and disillusionment.

So i think that is the mark of a great work of literature. That we can read it at different points in our lives and have it continue to speak to us, sometimes quite differently. I've had the same experience with other consensus great works, like Huck Fin and The Tempest, so I don't think I'm hallucinating.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)


Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 12:46 PM

123. I can see dropping Catcher in the Rye

because it was a terrible book about a whiny, privileged asshole, but why To Kill A Mockingbird? Atticus Finch is easily one of my favorite literary characters ever.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 12:55 PM

125. Sad commentary on the state of American education--true education

does not just teach how to make a living, but how to live.

Literature and art teach us what it means to be fully human, to imagine and dream. When we cease to imagine, we become just programmed drones, little more than a colony of insects.

If the teaching of Science and Technology is not balanced by the teaching of the Humanities, our future as human beings will be in dire jeopardy.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 12:58 PM

126. Big Brother hates the Arts.

Probably would do away with the Art and Literature in schools as well. Just as long as we have fooooooooot ball!!! YEEHAA!!!

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 01:13 PM

130. I did bother to go to the site and print out and read these new curriculum standards. Not as bad as

OP suggests. Before making any comments sight unseen and content not understood, I suggest that interested parties take time and read the propose Core Standards.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 01:36 PM

131. this article is bullshitty.

literature classics are not being dropped. What a waste of time. The knee-jerking here is abysmal. There undoubtedly are many valid criticisms of the proposed core curriculum, confusing the issues with absolute bullshit like this article is not helpful.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)


Response to devilgrrl (Reply #133)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 01:52 PM

134. Read that, didn't think much of it but had a great time.

I had rescheduled my classes that grade in order to be in a better chemistry class and needed to shift into another English class (the guidance counselor for gifted students helped us make big adjustments with lots of leeway at my school). I was rapidly shifted from reading the Iliad to having to catch up to a class that was closing in on A Separate Peace. Since I had to read a lot of it at once to catch up, I just finished the book. I walk into class the next day and shout "Finny dies!" and listened to a bunch of grumbles that I'd just spoiled the book for them.

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Response to JVS (Reply #134)


Response to JVS (Reply #134)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 03:05 PM

143. Remind me to avoid your DU movie

 

reviews

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 03:23 PM

147. I don't give the 42 'fucks' that are in it; I'd teach it anyway. Point of view, irony are crucial to

understanding the writing art. This kind of reading helps with grasping biased language of non-fiction, as well. A good teacher will just keep on rolling with it, no matter what the bureaucrats say. Fuck Bill and Melinda Gates and the Governors' Association and their kissass Council officers. They're all people who wouldn't be caught dead in a classroom, anyway.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 03:34 PM

150. LOL Ever hear of Camazotz?

Another one of my favorite books. We are there.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 03:48 PM

151. I was a book worm as a kid in the 50s

I also went to Catholic school where a lot of these books were banned. All that did was perk my interest. I read most of these banned books before I was even in HS. I also had a Public Library card so I could just take these books out myself. I had a friend whose Mom was a Public HS English teacher and would recommend books to us. I LOVED that. Screw the Catholic schools. While their students were watching TV, I was reading, reading, reading.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 04:23 PM

156. George Carlin put it best once....

"They want you just smart enough to run the machines but not smart enough to realize how badly you're being fucked over."

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 04:48 PM

159. Yet another reason to homeschool your chilren if possible. nt

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 05:13 PM

161. Ugh - informational texts?

It's sad that great literature is being cast aside to accommodate how-to books.

I doubt there's anything we can do about it, and I hope good teachers continue to teach students how to think instead of only what to think.

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Response to Politicub (Reply #161)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 05:16 PM

162. Everyone should be able to read and understand IRS Publication 17 before they can graduate

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 05:21 PM

164. Lots of literature, lots of writing in high school

Graduated 1953, small town Texas. Four years of English was required, one semester of grammar, one semester of literature. Read Shakespeare each year, had to subscribe to Atlantic Monthly senior year, wrote a theme each week during grammar semester. Emphasis on poetry senior year - each of us had to write a sonnet. (I wrote maybe 10, one for myself, nine for boys who had no clue.) Small school (300 students) but felt I came out of it with a good education.

If anyone reads this and knows how I can contact DU admin, I'd appreciate help. DU no longer recognizes my membership - member since 2004. I had to rejoin and attempts to get my lost memberslhip back have fallen on deaf ears.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 06:07 PM

168. I read Catcher in the Rye during my first year of High School.

I found the moral that was being made confusing. If a teacher is not skilled, most students completely miss the moral of the story. A Catcher in the Rye needs to be presented with an interpretive manual that explains each part of the book and what moral is being touched upon.

I had read The Pearl before high school as part of my Middle School training. I found The Pearl to be a much better book in terms of driving home the moral of what the story was about. To me The Pearl drove home the importance of people and values in our lives that we don't fully appreciate until we have lost them. The book also taught me about the importance of not blindly pursuing wealth without counter-balancing that with down to earth humanity.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:32 PM

173. Yeah. Wouldn't want to stimulate anyone's imagination now, would we?

That might lead to critical thinking, and we all know how the military/industrial complex feels about that.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 04:26 AM

177. it's all about militaristic schooling

For training public school kids to follow orders without questioning or even wondering. Meanwhile the private school rich kids will be giving the orders to benefit their own interests. That's the aim of replacing literature with nonfiction.

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Response to Mothdust (Reply #177)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 11:40 AM

183. "Facts. What I want are facts. Nothing but facts." Um, that was from

 

Thomas Gradgrind, memorialized in Charles Dickens' Hard Times, published about 150 years ago. Dickens had the wonderful ability to divine the future, even as he eviscerated the soul-sucking quality of Victorian public education in his day.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 09:58 AM

182. Teach kids to be slaves to the machine instead of enriching their creative senses.

What could go wrong???

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Response to Roland99 (Reply #182)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 11:41 AM

184. Read Dickens' "Hard Times." He nailed it 150 years ago. - n/t

 

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 12:03 PM

187. sad news

 

the US education system gets watered down more and more every day..

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