Me: I taught about Texas and the textbook for over 20 years and no one really gave a fuck. Things add up and sometimes they add up to a shit show because most people find ways to get used to the stench, live comfortably despite it. Eventually, sometimes, they are awoken. Sometimes it is too late.
She: An education professor taught us about this In a post graduate class at UNR. What would anyone do about it? Market driven. Texas and CA buy the most books. Then it got worse. NCLB morphed into Common Core where the IBM exec who wrote the Common Core “standards” in English sells the expendable books to the Districts. The standards are written in academic terms, very long sentences, based on heavy analysis of literature. They have to be written on the board and reviewed with students. To burden alliterate students with intense analyzing of literature in preparation for a high stakes, obscure test that their teacher has never seen which labels them with demeaning labels effectively kills any spark that might ignite if reading were for pleasure rather than analysis. Common Core and its farce tests determines the rating of schools and their hapless students. NCLB came from our Texan president and revolutionized public education just when our students were turning away from books to screens.How come you don’t use your scholar’s vocabulary instead of swearing so much?
Me:I swear because it is a part of my vocabulary and I do not pretend to be a scholar. Rather, I, like I would hope others would be, am a student and a human being who does respond to the world sometimes emotionally and it is the emotional part that has always humanized my scholarship, it dedicated not to succeeding in academic but to intelligent participation in the democratic society in which I live, my goal always to promote sane and humane decision making in society. As for the claims you make about the standards, I find them to be flawed, first of all because the CCSS were written to contradict the effects of NCLB which dumbed down the curriculum for the purpose of reasserting the goal of controlling and indoctrinating students in the goodness of the American way, this without critical analysis for fear that a thinking citizenry might turn on the American way that so well served the already wealthy and powerful at great expense to most of those who had been, were, and would be students in the American school system. As for who wrote the Common Core and how it is written, I can find hundreds of lines of highly sensible text that most decently educated people should be able to read and understand to be about orienting instruction to goals that would allow students to read what too many believe to be difficult text. Actually, the CCSS ELA standards call for students to be able to read, analyze, and make sensible decisions about the language that comes their way, extremely important goals for informed and thoughtful existence in a world where things simplified too often fail to convey the kind of meaning a person needs to understand things properly and make good decisions. As for “heavy analysis of literature,” that is couples with heavy analysis of non-fiction, this in recognition of the fact that the two are very much complementary, literature providing insights into the workings of the human mind that no other form of thoughtfulness–a good author’s–can provide, such insight to understanding such things as point of view, it being critical to understanding the intent of those communicating, their reason for telling one something, a key to getting at the real meaning of what is being said. For example, why would one care to call upon me to use my scholarly voice and criticize me for cussing? Who might that person be and why is she saying it? Understanding that has and should have much to do with how I respond to and act upon what she said.