Common Core third graders read Taliban murdered parents

Dec 22, 2013 by

A text on the Common Core reading list for third graders in the state of New York is called “Nasreen’s Secret School.”

It tells the story of a little girl, Nasreen, who lives in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. After her parents “disappeared” with no explanation, Nasreen is understandably unhappy and won’t talk to anyone. She eventually finds some degree of satisfaction after her grandmother enrolls her in a secret school the Taliban doesn’t know about—and for God’s sake, hopefully won’t find out about.

The book is optional, which means that teachers can choose to assign it or not.

The author of the book, Jeanette Winter, is an elderly art school graduate who has almost certainly never once set foot in Afghanistan.

Newsday rosily argues that story provides important lessons for every American eight-year-old: Gender equality and universal schooling are good. Brutal repression may end up as your lot in life. Also, your parents may get inexplicably dragged off and probably killed by murderous thugs.

One mother in Suffolk, N.Y. said the discussion about freedom and persecution she had with her third-grade son after he read the book was “one of the most poignant points of the school year,” according to the Long Island newspaper.

Many other parents are less than thrilled about the story, however.

In three Long Island towns (Southold, Islip and West Islip), parents have demanded that the local school boards get rid of “Nasreen’s Secret School” as well as another, similar book by Winter called “The Librarian of Basra.”

A Southold school board member, Scott DeSimone, charged that both books have a “pro-Muslim agenda,” says Newsday.

Meanwhile, Brooklyn child psychologist and author Laura Markham is less conspiratorial in her analysis.

“Nasreen’s Secret School” “teaches that parents can be taken away by soldiers and never return,” Markham told Newsday in an email. “It should not be part of the core curriculum. This is not banning books, this is leaving the parents in charge.”

Earlier this week, parents in the Wappingers Central school district in New York’s Hudson Valley voiced similar concerns at a school board meeting that became so contentious the sheriff had to be called.

“This book is a realistic portrayal of war,” social worker and mother Alicia Alfred said at the meeting, according to the Hudson Valley Reporter. “In no way do I find it appropriate for third graders. I would ask the district that they screen their books and that [parents] a get a list of books you approve so that we can screen them too. It’s disheartening to me that the board is not respectful of what these mothers have to say.”

The Daily Caller would like to salute the educators and bureaucrats who selected the books for various Common Core reading lists. Whoever you are, you are plainly tone deaf and absolutely hilarious.

Let’s see. There’s “Black Swan Green” by David Mitchell. The Newburgh, N.Y. school district spent $6,000 on copies of that book for a bunch of 14-year-old students before somebody noticed that the words “dick,” “cock” or “erect penis” appear on at least 11 separate pages. (RELATED: Another school district pulls a raunchy Common Core-approved book)

Then there’s “Dreaming in Cuban” by  Cristina García, an utterly minor 1992 novel with steamy sentences such as “Hugo bit Felicia’s breast and left purplish bands of bruises on her upper thighs” and “He entered her repeatedly from behind.” (RELATED: Fifty Shades of the Common Core: how much porn is too much?)

This fall, for the first time, 45 states and the District of Columbia began implementing the Common Core State Standards Initiative, which attempts to standardize various K-12 curricula around the country.

The Common Core standards demand that students know certain things by certain grade levels, but do little to describe how teachers should impart those skills. The multitude of lists of books is very varied.

The Common Core standards have been endorsed by numerous groups including the National Governors Association.

Criticism of the Common Core has risen sharply. Opposition has brought together conservatives who are opposed to centralized public education and leftists who deplore ever-more standardized testing.

via Common Core third graders read Taliban murdered parents | The Daily Caller.

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