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02/05/2005

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a reader

two things: actually, there are black writers on the alternative list (frederick douglass, lorraine hansberry, i believe mildred taylor is black), albeit no major black novelists; it's more upsetting that there are no latino/a writers but the kids can dig into "the conquest of mexico." eugggh. the real howler, however, is the idea that reading about *rape and incest* will make teenagers want to have sex. how can you talk to anyone who believes this? really.

but, well, it's all just a matter of indoctrination, and for that reason i don't know if there's any point in attacking any claims the protect-the-children argument makes. in point of fact, if you *wanted* to corrupt the youth you probably wouldn't start with the english curriculum -- it's indirect and awkward and, you know, too wordy.

why did you tear up "huck finn"? i despised it in high school as well, tho not to the point of annihilation.

hl bird

A relative is a high school English teacher at one of the neighboring school districts to Blue Valley. Every year, without fail, parents object to almost every book on his list. He has had problems teaching Romeo and Juliet.

For a better understanding of the dynamics behind this, read What's the Matter with Kansas. The KC suburbs in Kansas are the battleground of the larger culture "war".

Jeff Carroll

I literally received my teenage dose of Wilder, Dickens, and Twain at the hands of the women who taught Dan Quayle how to spell "potato". If this school district is like the one I grew up in, there are no black authors on reading lists simply because there are no blacks in the community.

Lamentably, in a free society, such people as these parents have a right to their own ignorance, which is what is really at issue here. One of the most cherished of American civil liberties is the right to make one's children stupid, whether through tactics such as these calculated to "protect" them from authentic literature, or insistence that public school science teachers take seriously the rantings of inane religions.

I almost think it's better to pander to the lowest common denominator in public school curricula, and drop broad hints that the real literature is in the library. Such people as these will not respond to cooperation; they will have to be ostracized, and their stupidity stigmatized, before they'll come around.

Dan Green

I've looked again at their list called "The Best of the Best," and neither Douglas nor Hansberry is on it.

"I almost think it's better to pander to the lowest common denominator in public school curricula, and drop broad hints that the real literature is in the library."

I have to admit that sometimes I think this myself.

teej

Can somebody tell me what the 7 literary standards are? I'm just wondering it it exists. Thank you.

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