Saturday, February 6, 2010

Common core and historic reading

Working through the common core English/language arts draft standards (available here), I spy something great!

Starting in grade 6, the draft standards identify a handful of "seminal historical texts that all students are expected to read." Here's the complete set:
  • Preamble and First Amendment to the United States Constitution
  • "Gettysburg Address"
  • "Second Inaugural Address"
  • "Address at the March on Washington"
  • "The Declaration of Independence"
  • "Letter from a Birmingham Jail"
There are slightly longer lists of "illustrative informational texts" for each level in the standards, with items that illustrate the sort of texts students should study and be able to read and discuss. Those six, though, are not examples that could be replaced by other examples. They're a fine, sturdy summary of our shared heritage, and it's good to see them identified as firm expectations.

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