Monday, November 18, 2013
I Oppose the Common Core State Standards and Urge Publishers of Comics and Those Who Study Them To Do the Same
Sure, publishers stand to make a lot of money marketing CCSS materials to teachers, students, parents, and even colleges. Sure, some believe comics still need justification as education-worthy materials. Yes, the CCSS does mention graphic novels as a type of text with which students should be familiar, making them the first standards to do so on the national scale.
But, I urge the comics community not to use the CCSS to justify the use of comics in the classroom. Or at the very least, not to do so exclusively. Look to the 1996 NCTE/IRA standards as well.
Why do I oppose the CCSS, even though at one time I supported their creation? I can't articulate the reasons better than Anthony Cody, who wrote these two articles:
"Common Core Standards: Ten Colossal Errors" and its follow-up, "The Door We Open When We Defeat the Common Core".
Also must-reading is Diane Ravitch's Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools.
Stephen Krashen, long-time comics-and-literacy advocate (search his name as a keyword on this blog), Susan Ohanian, and Peter Smagorinsky have spoken out against the CCSS/current education reform movement as well.
Public education is not a perfect system and needs improvement, but the CCSS and the stakes of their implementation undermine public education as a democratic right. If you believe, as so many of us do, that comics is a democratic medium, please use your resources to resist, even when your products might stand to gain from being aligned to these standards.