Common Core math has gotten a lot of negative attention. (RELATED: Obama math: under new Common Core, 3 x 4 = 11 [VIDEO])
However, the Common Core standards also mandate a nonfiction-heavy reading regime that devalues literature tremendously. Specifically, under the Common Core standards, “informational texts” must constitute a huge part of what students read. (RELATED: Under Common Core, classic literature to be dropped in favor of ‘informational texts’)
So, what exactly is in these “informational texts”?
In the idyllic expanses of New York’s Lakeland Central School District, the “informational texts” for fourth graders are disturbing agitprop from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
As EAGnews.org reports, the entire text forced on the fourth-grade kids was taken word-for-word from the PETA website PETAkids.com—home of the “30-day vegan pledge,” militant screeds against KFC and statement such as: “Zoos collect animals and put them on display to make money.”
The text is entitled: “Should Animals Be Kept in the Classroom?”
According to Jessica Fiorillo, the perturbed mother who has taken issue with the text, the reading was part of a lesson on “text structure.”
“Many teachers bring animals into their classrooms with good intentions, like wanting to teach you and your classmates responsibility or teach you about the animals themselves,” the PETA piece reads.
It then argues that many of these animals – rabbits, mice, snakes, fish, etc. – “are too often abused and neglected.”
Then, the reading provides the nine-year-old students with detailed descriptions of the deaths of some animals.
There’s a snake that got zapped in a microwave. There’s a couple chinchillas that “were horribly beaten and left for dead.” There’s a rabbit in a daycare that was left sick and languishing until it was too late. There are four pigs that suffered injuries from a gruesome acid attack. And, finally, there’s a lamb that was spray-painted, duct-taped outside a building and “left alone overnight in freezing temperatures.”
The remaining three paragraphs are filled with scaremongering and upsetting imagery about the lives of lonely pets, the possibility of salmonella poisoning and warnings about severe allergic reactions.
“I was disgusted, appalled and in complete disbelief that a school would basically send home a guide on how to kill household pets,” Fiorillo told EAGnews. “My husband after first reading it thought it was a handout from PETA not school work.”
The mad mom said subsequent questions about the text included standard-issue queries such as “What is the main idea of the article?” There was also: “How does using this text structure help you understand more about keeping animals in the classroom?”
Fiorillo said she emailed her child’s teacher but got no response. Her husband had a meeting with the principal.
“The principal actually said to my husband that this was part of the Common Core curriculum,” she claimed.
“There is no reason for a child to see this,” Fiorillo said. “If it involved reading comprehension there are many other topics that would have worked.”