Common Core writing assignment: “Think like a nazi…argue why Jews are evil”

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If you thought the 4th grade writing assignment I posted earlier was bad, you haven’t seen anything yet.  An English teacher at Albany High School in New York actually gave a homework assignment to students demanding that they “think like a Nazi.”  When asked about the assignment, the school told news media that the assignment is “the type of writing exercise expected of students under the new Common Core curriculum.”

from Times Union (emphasis mine):


Think like a Nazi, the assignment required students. Argue why Jews are evil.

Students in some Albany High School English classes were asked this week as part of a persuasive writing assignment to make an abhorrent argument: “You must argue that Jews are evil, and use solid rationale from government propaganda to convince me of your loyalty to the Third Reich!”

Students were asked to watch and read Nazi propaganda, then pretend their teacher was a Nazi government official who needed to be convinced of their loyalty. In five paragraphs, they were required to prove that Jews were the source of Germany’s problems.

The exercise was intended to challenge students to formulate a persuasive argument and was given to three classes, Albany Superintendent Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard said. She said the assignment should have been worded differently.

“I would apologize to our families,” she said. “I don’t believe there was malice or intent to cause any insensitivities to our families of Jewish faith.”

One-third of the students refused to complete the assignment, she said.

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.

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We will be writing more about the Obama administration’s new “Common Core” nationalized educational standards in the coming weeks, but this is your appetizer.  The new school standards were passed as a part of Obama’s 2009 “stimulus package” and are not only bad for education, they’re dangerous for the future of our nation.