A newly approved set of Common Core standards commissioned by the New York State Education Department is creating a bit of controversy surrounding the age appropriateness of the material.
Some of the material in the new curriculum includes picture books that involve images of “startlingly realistic portrayals of war”.
These war-oriented books have been approved for students in grades 3-5.
Via the New York Post:
Tales of war, bombs and abduction — coming to a third-grade classroom near you.
City and state education bureaucrats have given the green light to an English curriculum for elementary schools that includes picture books with startlingly realistic portrayals of war — to be read by 8-year-olds.
They include “The Librarian of Basra,” which contains drawings of fighter planes dropping bombs on a palm-tree-lined Middle Eastern town.
In another illustration, the protagonist looks worried, peering out a window at soldiers manning machine guns on a rooftop.
Similarly, “Nasreen’s Secret School” depicts the abduction of a young man from his home in Afghanistan by soldiers and discusses Taliban rules that forbid women to go out in public alone.
So is this material appropriate for a group of 8-year-olds?
The obvious irony here is that if a third grade student had drawn a picture of “soldiers manning machine guns” or “fighter planes dropping bombs”, that child would likely be suspended from school.
And God forbid he chewed a Pop Tart into the shape of a machine gun.