Caffeinated Carolina posted on South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley’s support of a bill that would reverse the common core state standards from being implemented in her state.  She sent a letter of support to the sponsor of that bill, State Senator Mike Fair (R-Greenville).

I’m glad that Governor Haley is willing to take a stand on something my Governor seems to be jumping into, happily I might add, with both feet.

One of the complaints about the common core state standards lies with the literacy standards.   They no longer require students to read a list of the classics.  Instead 70% of the reading is informational texts which have the potential to indoctrinate, not educate.  In the AP article written about Fair’s bill those standards are discussed. The defense of using information texts is maddening:

Opponents of the standards derided the shift, for example, from reading literature to more informational texts.

But Hawkins said that’s a good thing: “If we want students to be college and career ready, we don’t need to spend hours reading the classics.”

It’s just too time consuming to have students read the classics is basically what she is saying.  Let’s not read the original instead let’s read somebody’s interpretation of it.  It would be like me saying I’m going to no longer read the Bible, but instead I’m going to just read commentaries.  Those commentaries may be good, but some may not be.

This is maddening.  There is such an over emphasis on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) that we are seeing literacy standards get dumbed down.  Having worked with kids a good number of years I have seen a growing inability to write.  What helps writing skills?  Reading good writing.  Also classical literature helps shape our knowledge of our culture.

Reading and writing is foundational to everything else that is taught so why would we want to short change this?  To say we don’t have time to do this is absurd.  Cut out electives if you must, but don’t subject our kids to someone else’s interpretation of classical literature.  Let them read it for themselves!  Otherwise we will end up kids who may know science, but don’t know how to write and are culturally illiterate.

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