Texas Students Could Lose Prior Eng. III, IV Emphasis on American and British Literature

Jan 22, 2016 by

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“Texas Students Could Lose Prior Eng. III, IV Emphasis on American and British Literature”

By Donna Garner

1.22.16

 

A committee has been appointed by the elected members of the Texas State Board of Education to review the present English / Language Arts / Reading (ELAR) curriculum standards (TEKS) – Grades K – 12.  This committee is called the ELAR/TEKS Review Committee.  Their task is to “review” the ELAR/TEKS and not to “rewrite” them.

Unfortunately, the committee leadership has chosen to REWRITE the ELAR/TEKS using various means.  One of those means is to rename the present strands which then allows them to juggle all of the subject content around without anyone noticing that valuable subject content has either been de-emphasized or just plain lost.

Right now the Texas Education Agency and the SBOE are taking public comments on the Nov. 2015 ELAR/TEKS Draft, and those can be sent to:  TEKS@tea.texas.gov.  

I have already submitted my six Objections to the Nov. 2015 ELAR/TEKS Draft.  

Objections #1 through #4 are here:  http://www.educationviews.org/critique-nov-2015-texas-elarteks-draft/

Objections #5 and #6 are here:  http://www.educationviews.org/bad-mistake-part/

Today I am submitting Objection #7 as explained below.

 

(Because the ELAR/TEKS documents are computerized and are very complicated, it is easy to overlook wording.  Please let me know if I have stated something incorrectly in Objection #7.)   

OBJECTION #7

In doing more reading of the November 2015 ELAR/TEKS Draft, I do not believe the word “American” literature is found any longer in English III nor the word “British” literature in English IV.  Without those two explicitly prescribed requirements in English III and English IV, our Texas public school students could graduate without having read the great classical pieces of literature that have connected generation after generation of Americans.  

Our forefathers built this nation upon the British judicial and social system and were heavily influenced by their lives in Britain. Well-educated students must read the great pieces of British literature to have a deeper knowledge about our own history.

Then, too, well-educated students must read the great pieces of American literature in English III to make sure they understand the progression of our own country’s history and its development through the eyes of the people who lived it.

These more sophisticated classical pieces of literature need to be read and studied in the capstone grade levels of English III and English IV.

The trend in the Common Core ( and in AP U. S. History and World History) is to strip our students of their love and appreciation for America, replacing it with a biased White supremacist, anti-American exceptionalism focus. We patriotic Texans must not let that false doctrine be taught to our Texas public school students.   

Below is the wording in our present ELAR/TEKS (adopted in May 2008).  I strongly recommend that the ELAR/TEKS Review Committee follow the present wording so that English III emphasizes American literature and English IV emphasizes British literature.  

Link to the present ELAR/TEKS, English III — http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/rules/tac/chapter110/ch110c.html#110.33

(b) Knowledge and Skills

(2)  Reading/Comprehension of Literary Text/Theme and Genre. Students analyze, make inferences and draw conclusions about theme and genre in different cultural, historical, and contemporary contexts and provide evidence from the text to support their understanding. Students are expected to:

(B)  relate the characters and text structures of mythic, traditional, and classical literature to 20th and 21st century American novels, plays, or films; and

(5)  Reading/Comprehension of Literary Text/Fiction. Students understand, make inferences and draw conclusions about the structure and elements of fiction and provide evidence from text to support their understanding. Students are expected to:

(D)  demonstrate familiarity with works by authors in American fiction from each major literary period.

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Link to the present ELAR/TEKS – English IV – http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/rules/tac/chapter110/ch110c.html#110.34

(b) Knowledge and Skills

 

(4)  Reading/Comprehension of Literary Text/Drama. Students understand, make inferences and draw conclusions about the structure and elements of drama and provide evidence from text to support their understanding. Students are expected to evaluate how the structure and elements of drama change in the works of British dramatists across literary periods.

 

(5) (D) (D)  demonstrate familiarity with works of fiction by British authors from each major literary period.

 

 

 

Donna Garner

Wgarner1@hot.rr.com

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