LTRP Note: For those who are wondering just what “Common Core” has in store for American children, read this article below as well as Berit Kjos’ booklet A “Common Core” For a Global Community.
By Barbara Boland
The Rialto school district in California gave eighth graders an 18-page assignment that asked them to consider arguments on whether the Holocaust was an “actual event” or a “propaganda tool that was used for monetary gain.”
The project created media outrage, but the school district initially defended the assignment, saying that Common Core standards are intended to teach critical thinking. The school district, through interim superintendent Mohammad Z. Islam, revised its position when L.A.-based Anti-Defamation league expressed its concerns.
The assignment given to the eighth graders read:
“When tragic events occur in history, there is often debate about their actual existence. For example, some people claim the Holocaust is not an actual historical event, but instead is a propaganda tool that was used for political and monetary gain. Based upon your research on this issue, write an argumentative essay, utilizing cited textual evidence, in which you explain whether or not you believe the Holocaust was an actual event in history, or merely a political scheme created to influence public emotion and gain. Remember to address counterclaims (rebuttals) to your stated claim. You are also required to use parenthetical (internal) citations and to provide a Works Cited page.”
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