Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Insanity Of Close Reading A Text Without Context Or Personal Connections

Read the whole Valerie Strauss post on Close Reading that they are talking about here - it is a horrifying tale of what is so wrong with Common Core and why kids and teachers hate it so much.

I am teaching annotation and close reading to seniors today.

In my department, it was strongly urged that we take the SED modules for 9th grade and adapt lessons for the 10th, 11th and 12th grades.

So today we practice close reading of a text over and over and over.

I cannot give students any historical context for the text, I cannot explain any words they do not know, and I cannot ask them to make personal connections to the text (after all, as Common Core ELA standards architect David Coleman said, no one gives a shit what students think or feel about anything, only that they can do the office work.)

The 9th graders hate school - the Common Core lessons they are being taught ensure that.

Today, I suspect the 12th graders will hate it too.

I know I will hate it.

In my experience, the foundation of education is helping students to learn new ideas and concepts by helping them to draw on prior knowledge and make connection to their own experiences.

The Common Core architects, in their words, don't give a shit about any of that.

They care only that students can read a text and make text to text connections.

As Josie Holford said, this kind of teaching is bizarre, pointless and ineffective - and yet it is being forced on us in NY State by the NYSED, the Regents, and Governor Cuomo.

This is why parents and teachers are up in arms all over the state.

These are not higher standards we work with here.

These are insane standards that are meant to make school into drudge work, teach kids just enough skills to do the office work, but not enough to help them to grow into emotionally aware and conscious human beings.

This is child abuse, plain and simple.

The state bureaucrats and Regents board members should be up on charges for forcing these harmful and damaging reforms on children.

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