Ohio is pushing a bill through that seeks to block the Common Core standards and, in the process, forbids the teaching of many “classics” of literature while allowing for creationism to be taught in the classroom.
It’s also flamingly racist, but at this point, that’s all but expected.
Raw Story reports House Bill 597, which is sponsored by two Republicans — Andy Thompson and Matt Huffman — would “require that at least eighty percent of literary works taught in grades eight through twelve be complete works of classic British and American authors published prior to 1970.”
Check out all the works that’ll likely get cut because of the “forethought” that went into the language of this bill: Jame Joyce, Oscar Wilde, C.S. Lewis, Bram Stoker, William Butler Yeats, Samuel Beckett, and Jonathan Swift — all of them are Irish. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Eli Wiesel are cut, because they’re German. Anne Frank, author of The Diary of Anne Frank, is cut because she’s Dutch. Miguel Cervantes is cut, and with him, Don Quixote, because he’s Spanish. Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Victor Hugo, and Alexander Dumas are all cut, being French. No Fyodor Dostoevsky, because he’s Russian. The Little Mermaid is gone, because Hans Christian Andersen is Danish. And that’s just from Europe. The language makes it hard to teach every book that requires a translation.
That’s okay, though, because it’s all inconsequential. It’s not American or British, and that’s the only thing that matters.
Oh, and the Bible doesn’t count, either. But, like I said — inconsequential.
Representative Thompson said that the language concerning the English requirement would be altered to allow more Western books to be taught, but as of this reporting, the alteration hasn’t been made.
Just as problematic, but in a different way, is the language about teaching science. The bill says:
“[Science standards will] focus on academic and scientific knowledge rather than scientific processes; and prohibit political or religious interpretation of scientific facts in favor of another.”
Rep. Thompson, who knows as much about science as he does literature, also told the Plain Dealer:
“[The language] gives some flexibility to districts to pursue what they think is the most appropriate to their students”
“We want to have the ability to share perspectives that differ. Teaching one thing to the exclusive of anything else limits the discussion.”
Unless, of course, you’re excluding African, Chinese, Indian, and other non-Western authors. Then it’s perfectly okay, since they probably didn’t have anything to add to the discussion, anyway.
When asked whether his law would require teachers to address creationism and it’s companion in the clown suit, Intelligent Design, Thompson insisted that his bill would allow teachers the opportunity to ask questions like that in a manner that they deem appropriate, saying:
“I don’t know that [creationism or intelligent design] needs to be treated on par, but districts will be able to choose based on their judgment. I’m not prescribing that to classes. There’s not one settled perspective they should be doing, to another perspective.”
He added that by requiring multiple perspectives, the bill would magically remove the “pure politicization” of topics in the classroom.