A Band-Aid on the Unkindest Cut?

by Robert Pondiscio
July 18th, 2009

Someone must have been unhappy with the reaction to news that Shakespeare would have no place in the emerging national standards currently being drafted by Achieve, ACT and the College Board.  The over-the-top quote from Chris Minnich, director of standards at the Council of Chief State School Officers, has suddenly disappeared from Linda Kulman’s Politics Daily piece, which was cited by Common Core, Joanne Jacobs and the Core Knowledge Blog (HT:  MagisterGreen). 

Original Quote:

“They’re really looking for what students should be able to do to truly be ready for college.  It means taking out some of the things that aren’t really important,” including, he says, “whether or not kids should read Shakespeare. Most of the studies say Shakespeare is not critical.”

New Quote:

“They’re really looking for what students should be able to do to truly be ready for college. It means taking out some of the things that aren’t really important. At this point, we don’t know yet what that will be.”  (Emphasis mine).

A misquote? A “clarification?”  Something uttered “off the record” not intended for the light of day?  The bigger problem with what Minnich said remains not his dismissal of Shakespeare, but the clear and unambiguous focus on skills at the expense of content.  That went unchanged in both versions.

Shakespeare in or out, if Mr. Minnich would like to explain the place of specific curricular content in the draft standards, the floor is his.  An invitation has been issued for him to write a guest post on this blog.

2 Comments »

  1. Robert,

    Your blog is ultra-informative. I hope CK is paying you enough. Keep up the great work.

    Comment by Paul Hoss — July 18, 2009 @ 9:08 pm

  2. Shakespeare would have no place in the emerging national standards currently being drafted by Achieve, ACT and the College Board

    Man the barricades.

    Comment by Catherine Johnson — July 20, 2009 @ 9:35 pm

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