Thursday, September 24, 2009

"Common Core" and Common Core

I'm sure that Common Core Inc. ( is annoyed that the Common Core State Standards Initiative pretty much stole their name. Well... not my problem. However, when I'm writing about "Common Core," assume I'm not talking about's response to the Common Core State Standards Initiative takes their usual cramped view of liberal arts. That is, they're really concerned with exactly what you're going to read, specificity, rigor, but can't bring themselves to comment on why you're reading and what you're going to do with it. Adding a literature canon to the Common Core State Standards Initiative would not turn it into a liberal arts curriculum.

This is part of the reason these English Language Arts standards are so out of line with international norms. Even an organization devoted to an energetic defense of the liberal arts can't bring themselves to suggest that, say, "an appreciation of the significance and artistry of literature" might be an appropriate goal in the English classroom, because it just seems too fruity for the USA.

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