Friday, August 23, 2013

Senate Conservative Coalition Opposes:

Sen. Angela Hill (R-Picayune)
This edition of "Senate Conservative Coalition Opposes:" takes a look at the effort of a state senator to ban a book from being used in classrooms across Mississippi.

Senator Angela Hill, a member of the tea party Senate Conservative Coalition, took to Facebook to blast the book The Bluest Eye as having material that may be objectionable to high school juniors.
"This book is indeed on the Common Core's list of exemplar texts for the 11th grade. I would hardly call it 'exemplar'!! I looked it up, printed it, just in case they remove it in the future off the Common Core Appendix B list of Exemplar Texts for ELA. There is much more objectionable material as people finally review it after it has been already adopted. WE CAN UNADOPT IT. Help me do it."
Hill noted that the book was on a reading list proposed by Common Core education standards, standards that have been adopted by local education officials across the country. She went on to say that there is content in the book not suitable for the eyes of youngsters. On top of that, she goes as far as suggesting that this book not be allowed in schools. This backward mindset is reminiscent of cries for prohibiting books like The Catcher in the Rye in the 1960s.

According to Random House, this particular novel has been published since 1970. Educators and school administrators have had ample time to know what is in this book. It seems Senator Hill is missing a broader point about what books are designed to do. They are meant to challenge us to think critically about a litany of issues: the plot, the complexity of the characters, the environment in which those characters live, economics, and education.

In this instance, is Hill intentionally frightening parents into thinking that teachers are peddling smut to children? Does she really think educators and school board leaders, including ones that may sit with her at church, sit around and think "You know what would be funny? Seeing kids freak out when they read this book." It may behoove the senator to read the book for herself to understand what the author is trying to convey before attempting to discredit it.

Hill and the Senate Conservative Coalition oppose Common Core standards for reasons that we will delve into in subsequent posts. No doubt, she and her tea party colleagues will continue their drumbeat of opposition in the months to come. Rest assured we will continue to monitor this debate.

Stay tuned for the next installment of "Senate Conservative Coalition Opposes:"

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