Significant overall reduction in time allocated to classic literary texts will make it hard to give poetry the prominence it deserves
BOSTON – April is National Poetry Month, but poetry is not well addressed in keeping Core's English language arts standards. It's unclear whether the genre will survive a typical Core-based English classroom because of the dramatic reduction in time allocated to literary texts implicitly mandated by these national standards, and the ambivalence, otherwise hostility, of the standards writers towards literature, based on new research authored by Pioneer Institute.
The Dying of the Light: How Common Core Damages Poetry Instruction
In “The Dying of the Light: How Common Core Damages Poetry Instruction,” co-authored by Anthony Esolen, Jamie Highfill, and Sandra Stotsky, Esolen, a poet and professor of literature at Providence College, concludes, “The Common Core proponents do not like poetry.”
Professor Esolen, who between 2002 and 2005 translated the three volumes of Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy for the Modern Library, describes why poetry is at the center of an education that seeks to change a child into a fully realized individual. Highfill, an award-winning English teacher, then describes the three-part process by which poetry has traditionally learned in American schools.
The first step is exercising this is of poems, simultaneously fostering students' own considering meaning. The second is developing poetry-reading skills by helping students analyze literary features like tone, structure, themes, rhythm and rhyme and elegance. The ultimate step is for students to write about poetry and write their very own poems.
“A school's poetry curriculum isn't designed to teach skills that can help students get jobs,” Highfill says. “It is to 'make minds, not careers.' When a mind is strengthened, so is the opportunity to secure employment.”
The report offers an instance study from the texts and themes recommended with a Common Core consultant for any Common Core-based literature unit in the school system she taught in until a year ago.
University of Arkansas Professor emerita Sandra Stotsky traces a brief history from the poetry curriculum in this country's public schools. She notes the paucity of poetry contained in Common Core and also the incoherent listing of poems within an appendix that gives teachers little guidance concerning the poems' relative complexity or quality. “It's unclear whether the real audience for the appendix is English teachers or the editorial board from the Ny Times,” she says.
The shrinking role of poetry in public places schools is especially troubling in Massachusetts, a state whose poets form this type of large number in our national literary heritage.
Not only was Massachusetts the home of Emily Dickinson and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, the Bay State has produced a minimum of five Usa Poets Laureate. At least another five Massachusetts poets have won Pulitzer Prizes, and 2 more have won Nobel Prizes.
In accessory for his work on Dante, Professor Esolen may be the editor and translator of two other didactic and epic poems for contemporary Library: Lucretius' Around the Nature of products and Tasso's Jerusalem Delivered.
Jamie Highfill was chosen 2011 Middle School English Teacher of the Year by the Arkansas Council of Teachers of English Arts and taught grade 8 English in Fayetteville, Arkansas for 11 years.
From 1991-97, Sandra Stotsky was the editor of Research within the Teaching of English, published by the National Council of Teachers of English. She was also in charge of developing and revising Massachusetts' 2001 English Language Arts Curriculum Framework.
Common Core's Validation: An inadequate Foundation for any Crooked House; Decreasing the Bar: How Common Core Math Fails to Prepare Students for STEM; How Common Core's ELA Standards Place College Readiness in danger; Common Core Standards Still Don't Result in the Grade; The direction to a National Curriculum: The Legal Aspects of the Common Core Standards, Race to the peak, and Conditional Waivers; National Price of Aligning States and Localities towards the Common Core Standards, and A Republic of Republics: How Common Core Undermines State and Local Autonomy over K-12 Education. Pioneer produced a video series: Setting the Record Straight: Part 1, and Part 2, and has earned national media coverage, including op-eds put into The Wall Street Journal and The Weekly Standard.