Thursday, July 11, 2013

NYC to Great Literature--Drop Dead

The geniuses at Tweed have done it again. They've managed, pretty much, to exclude literature from ELA curriculum. Better our kids should read political speeches, newspaper articles, and train schedules. After all, when you're training a generation to work in Walmart, how can reading Tom Jones help you to fold a sweater?

The important thing, in Mayor Bloomberg's New York, is that kids read things no more interesting than the textbooks they must plod through. After all, how better to train kids to plod through tedious textbooks than to make them plod through other tedious crap? And certainly, getting through tedious crap is great prep for getting through tedious lives folding sweaters.

Why waste time making kids love to read when there will likely be pictures on the menu at McDonald's anyway? And even though Walmart has lost the fight over paying a living wage in DC, there's no such legislation in NYS, and city residents need not travel far to get a crappy Walmart job. And there will be no need for reading on their commute when they can simply Facebook on their smart phones.

It was instructive to read David Coleman at Diane Ravitch's blog saying that this would not happen, that the bulk of fiction reading could and would take place in ELA classes, and that we need not worry. Fortunately, since being reformy means never having to say you're sorry, the Tweedies can do whatever the hell they feel like. And best of all, there are no consequences, since this brave new world means "accountable" applies only to unionized teachers.

Don't miss Perdido Street School on the same topic. As an ESL teacher, I fully expect the innovative Tweedies to move to preclude my teaching newcomers English, and force me to give them tedious non-fiction they can't possibly understand.

That's gonna be the day I resign.
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