Down on the Corner, Stanley Kurtz says compliant statehouse Republicans are “selling their constitutional birthright for a mess of pottage” by adopting Obama-backed federal core curriculum standards. I don’t have strong opinions on the federalism of the case (or in any case really–there are plenty of bullies, big and small), but this particular argument struck me as odd:
Technically, the new non-fiction requirements can be satisfied in classes other than English. In practice, however, with science teachers unwilling to assign essays, English classes are forced to junk Huckleberry Finn in favor of readings such as “Executive Order 13423: Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management.” The potential for political abuse in a curriculum heavy with government documents and news articles should be obvious. Given the politics of most teachers, the new non-fiction requirements create a huge opening for leftist indoctrination. And that’s only the beginning of the potential political abuses of the Common Core.
Shaky premises about fiction notwithstanding, after skimming his one example of dangerous non-fiction I’m with him on the larger point, because Executive Order 13423 is dull as dogshit. Obama should just make Kurtz happy and let kids read The Handmaid’s Tale instead.