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Letters: What, and how, kids should learn

June 07, 2013

Re "New school standards face a tough test," June 2

It is safe to say that many of the states that signed onto the Common Core curriculum, which favors analysis over memorization, did so to be eligible for federal Race to the Top grants and not because they believed wholeheartedly in the idea of national standards.

Nevertheless, each state scrutinized the benefits and what standards, if any, they would modify to fit their own educational goals.

So what happens now that the majority of the country is more or less aligned with the same educational goals? More than likely we'll still be far behind other developed countries on test scores.

Having national standards should be the foundation of our educational system; giving teachers a day-by-day mandated curriculum should not be. Each teacher should be given the opportunity to build his or her own curriculum, tailored to the needs of the community and students but based on national goals.

Johana Herrera

Pasadena

Teaching seventh-grade kids Nazi propaganda as a way of exemplifying its insidious effects? Have we completely lost our minds?

The school district in Santa Ana that considered including this in its curriculum thankfully dropped its plan when teachers protested, but there's an important lesson: Once planted in the minds of middle-school children, there is no way that the hateful messages in these lessons can be called back. In time, the source will be forgotten, the "lesson" in analytical thinking will be forgotten, and the hateful message will remain.

If you don't believe this, consider the right-wing propaganda that President Obama was not born in the United States. According to a CBS News poll in 2011, 1 in 4 Americans believe this fiction.

Marcia Goldstein

Laguna Woods

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