A classic(s) disagreement

03/12/2014 11:00 AM

03/12/2014 9:16 AM

I’m not one who believes the world is so simple that people who agree on one thing necessarily agree on everything else. In fact, I believe it’s quite unlikely for that to happen time after time.

So the fact that one Republican supports toughening our DUI laws doesn’t mean that any other given Republican will support it. Nor can you assume that all legislators who clamor for ethics reform want to increase income disclosure for legislators just because some legislators who clamor for ethics reform want to do that.

Still, it was striking to read today’s letter from Sheri Few, the Republican activist who is building her run for state education superintendent around her opposition to Common Core. In it, she complained that “These untested standards abandon classic literature for propaganda-laced informational texts and do not prepare children for selective colleges.”

Striking, because I was still trying to process the news story from Sunday, in which current Republican education superintendent and Common Core opponent Mick Zais was quoted as saying that “Because we focus on literature appreciation, not writing and speaking, we have a lot of kids who graduate high school who can do neither.”

His solution, the article explained, was to shift the focus in English literature “from appreciation of classic literature to teaching students to synthesize, analyze and apply what they read in a coherent, organized way — what he sums up as business writing.”

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