Students asked to ‘argue that Jews are evil’ and prove Nazi loyalty in assignment linked to Common Core
The Blaze – Tiffany Gabbay – 4/12/2013
“You must argue that Jews are evil, and use solid rationale from government propaganda to convince me of your loyalty to the Third Reich!” read the description on the assignment, which the school superintendent said reflects the kind of sophisticated writing expected of students under the new Common Core standards and was meant to hone students’ persuasive argument abilities.
The TimesUnion reports that students were asked to digest Nazi propaganda material, then imagine that their teacher was an SS officer who needed to be persuaded of their loyalty by arguing that Jews are the root of all the world’s ills.
Vanden Wyngaard said the exercise reflects the type of writing expected of students under the new Common Core curriculum, the tough new academic standards that require more sophisticated writing. Such assignments attempt to connect English with history and social studies.
She said she understood the academic intent of the assignment — to make an argument based only on limited information at hand. Still, she acknowledged that it was worded in a very offensive manner. She did not identify the English teacher or discuss whether the educator faced any discipline.
Students were asked to draw on elements of the great philosopher Aristotle, and frame their arguments as either: “Logos” (persuasion by reasoning), “Pathos” (persuasion by emotional appeal) or “Ethos” (persuasion by the author’s character).
Nonetheless, a reported one-third of the
to complete the assignment. Albany
Whether school faculty chose this particular subject matter for the writing assignment, or if the subject matter came directly from COMMON CORE remains unclear (it could have been the justification and not a direct lesson), but the amount of controversial lessons administered under curriculum system is indeed mounting.
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