Common Core Close Reading: Critical Thinking or Propaganda?
Remember yesterday’s post about the close reading assignment on immigration reform? The students were to formulate an argument on this issue using one article, a Times Editorial Board opinion piece.
MEW has had some comments about this assignment on Facebook questioning why only one source was used and that the Times article was short on facts and long on propaganda. Former teachers wondered how a valid argument could be constructed using only one source.
We accidentally omitted the political cartoon that accompanied this 7th grade close reading assignment. If this is considered a source, it mirrors the opinion piece on immigration reform.
Do you think this belongs in an ELA assignment? Do you think this is political propaganda or creates critical thinking? Is the message in this cartoon is that those who question immigration reform don’t dare ask if it is constitutional and advisable? Those who don’t agree with the immigration plan are swept up as racist, fearful and distrustful debris.
This is what some Missouri middle school students are learning about immigration reform. Is this the type of critical thinking the Common Core proponents had in mind for students? Or is this a lesson on how dissent is handled today? Has ridicule and disdain taken the place of true discourse?