December 28, 2012 4 Comments
The Obama administration is pushing for a common core for government school course work via his “Race to the Top” program. For obvious reasons part of the common core includes English. Unfortunately the Obama administration isn’t fighting to race to the top in English standards. It’s more like a race to the bottom. The Obama administration is seeking to mandate that 50% of English instruction be “informational texts.” For high school seniors, 70% of their English instruction is required to be “informational texts.” Gone are the historic pieces of literature which have shaped the English language and passed morality and intellectual thought down to generations of Americans. It’s to be replaced with the writings of bureaucrats.
Informational texts include everything from newspaper articles to bureaucratic reports issued by various agencies in Washington. They even include Presidential executive orders. Presumably they also include Congressional bills, though it’s unlikely school children will be reading the Obamacare bill anytime soon. Anyone who has read a bureaucratic report or an executive order knows they don’t come close to displaying the richness of the English language. They tend to be boring, mundane, using simple language and generally they do little more than offer straightforward ideas. Newspaper articles are generally the same in this regard. There’s nothing per se wrong with this of course. However we’re talking about school children in English class, not adults surfing the Internet for information.
Historically not only has English taught children the vast richness of the English language, it has also been a vehicle to pass morality and thought from one generation to the next. Most of the great works of literature in history have contained moral lessons which help shape the morality of the next generation. By ridding the schools even further of an historic moral foundation, we move further from our past. Arguably the schools have already ditched these historic pieces of literature. In the 90′s we were reading dime store novels and other pieces of propaganda. Obama is likely further solidifying the propaganda end of English.
While the government schools are ditching historic morality in English class they are not doing away with morality entirely. English and reading are great ways to instill morality in the young, Obama knows this. Informational texts from the government bureaucracy are most certainly teaching morality. They’re teaching children big government is good, they’re teaching left-wing policies are good. While reading a bureaucratic report is unlikely to inspire children to greater things as an historic piece of literature might, the overall affect of reading dozens of bureaucratic reports and executive orders will affect children. The teaching will be clear, government is good and big government will protect us. It’s the opposite of our historic founding.
It is government programs like this that cause people to pull their kids out of government schools. Obama and the left are once again dumbing down education. They’re going to leave thousands of kids unprepared for college, unless we decide to dumb down college even more with “informational texts.” Kids are never going to learn the richness of our language reading the reports of tiresome bureaucrats and arrogant journalists. It is only through literature that children can truly learn the English language. Unfortunately the government would rather feed kids easy propaganda.