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Common Core Reading Lists and Pornography

Reading lists for English Language Arts for high school are one of the controversial parts of curricula aligned with the Common Core State Standards. Unfortunately, pornography has found its way into our children’s curricula through the guise of literature that addresses issues of race and culture.

Recently, in Randolph County, North Carolina a mother took issue with the school board about a book on her 11th grade son’s summer reading list. She filed a complaint last June about Invisible Man, written by Ralph Ellison and published in 1952, due to its graphic sexual themes of incestual rape, rape as sexual play, and foul language.

According to Randolph County Board of Education, “The book is a suggested work for Grade 11 in the Common Core Curriculum maps in English Language Arts: Grade 9-12 professional book for teachers in use of Common Core.”

After the initial complaint, the school board disagreed with the parent, and voted to keep the book in the school library. The mother then appealed that decision and she was told a second time the book would stay on the Randleman High School library shelves.

Then in a third meeting, the school board had changed its mind and in a 5 to 2 vote banned the book on September 16.

Now, after the American Library Association and the “Kids’ Right to Read Project wrote the school board condemning the ban and asking that it be reversed,” the board voted to rescind its previous action and allowed the book again.

There was one dissenter among the school board members—Gary Mason. A phone message left by Watchdog Wire NC at the residence of Mr. Mason asking for a response has gone unreturned.

Organizations like the ALA objected to the censoring because they said this is a classic American novel contributing to the national conversation on racism. Why didn’t they comment on the mother’s concern over the sexual nature of the story? That was the issue.

In another case in Oregon, the Toni Morrison novel The Bluest Eye was also suggested reading for 11th graders. [see article from Politichicks showing excerpts that would make even jaded readers cringe].

David Coleman, Lynne Munson, Michelle Rhee: Cohorts in Common Core

Invisible Man is listed along with other questionable books and reading materials for 11th grade in a widely used English Language Arts Curriculum Mapping text [p. 174] aligned with CCSS. The director of Common Core mapping is Lynne Munson who began the project in 2007 at the same time Student Achievement Partners (SAP) began working for the National Governors Association in planning the CCSS.

Munson states, “Despite the coincidence of name, Common Core and Common Core State Standards are not affiliated.” Yet, she worked with colleagues David Coleman and Sue Pimentel who just happened to be writing the ELA CCSS in 2007 as well.

StudentsFirst 990-2010

StudentsFirst 990-2010

In another twist revealing the tight knit group that originated the CCSS and the larger education reform across the country, Coleman and two co-workers from SAP including the creator of the Math standards Jason Zimba all held positions on the board of StudentsFirst, the non-profit founded by Michelle Rhee—the face of the education revolution.

From the beginning, a small clique has been at the helm of the creation, promotion, and implementation of the CCSS and the push to nationalize public education.

Coleman happens not only to be a creator of the CCSS; he is also president of the College Board that provides the SAT assessments for high schoolers.

A couple days ago, reports came out about drops in SAT scores, especially among blacks and Latino students. Coleman has said he wants College Board to help these disadvantaged kids get into college. So, he has decided to take the non-profit College Board in a radical direction.

“Simply put, the College Board will go beyond simply delivering assessments to actually transforming the daily work that students are doing,” Coleman says.

David ColemanDavid Coleman, creator of CCSS, treasurer of StudentsFirst from 2010 to 2012, and president of the College Board has had five years to get to his goal of “transforming the daily work” of students in the classroom.

Has Coleman’s plan affected reading lists in your children’s schools?

 

 

Ann Kane

Ann Kane is the Editor of Watchdog Wire – North Carolina. Contact her at NorthCarolina@WatchdogWire.com to learn how to get involved with citizen journalism in the Tarheel State.

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Categories: Education, Must Read, News, Opinion, Uncategorized
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