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Required reading: 'Atlas Shrugged'

Posted by on Feb. 8, 2013 at 11:21 AM
  • 133 Replies

Found this on FB, I know its fox news and won't be passed, but I'm curious about the subject matter: Do you think this would be a good required reading for high schoolers?

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/02/07/symbolic-idaho-bill-would-require-students-to-read-atlas-shrugged/

Idaho bill would require students to read 'Atlas Shrugged'

In a symbolic move to teach “personal responsibility,” an Idaho lawmaker has proposed requiring every high school student in the state to read Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged.”

State Sen. John Goedde introduced legislation on Tuesday that would require Idaho secondary students to read and pass an examination on the iconic 1957 novel touted by conservatives like Rep. Paul Ryan and Rush Limbaugh. 

The lawmaker, though, says the bill is meant more as a statement than an actual proposed policy. Goedde, in a statement to FoxNews.com, said media outlets have thus far “totally missed the point” of the bill — he described the bill as a protest to a state Board of Education decision to roll back online class requirements. 

“Traditionally in Idaho, the State Board of Education sets graduation requirements in rule,” Goedde wrote in an email Thursday. “They recently repealed a rule dealing with online class requirements and failed to move another rule forward dealing with administrators demonstrating proficiency in evaluating teachers. I felt both were important and wanted to remind them that the legislature could also set graduation standards.”

“I have no intention of pursuing this requirement. I am sorry but I don’t see a story here.”

- State Sen. John Goedde

The “Atlas Shrugged” requirement, Goedde said, was simply a vehicle to deliver that message. He said he has "no intention" of establishing this requirement. 

Still, the bill was formally introduced Tuesday. 

The bill reads: “The student shall obtain a passing grade on the examination in order to satisfy the graduation requirement provided for in this section. Such examination shall be approved by the state department of education.”

Goedde told The Spokesman-Review the legislation was merely a “shot over their bow” to indicate other ways to adopt high school graduation requirements.

The book — Rand’s fourth and final novel — is touted as her masterwork and explores her “unique vision of existence and of man’s highest purpose and potential in life,” according to the California-based Ayn Rand Institute (ARI).

Yaron Brook, ARI's executive director, said it's not the job of lawmakers to dictate what high school students read.

"However, every student in America would benefit from reading Atlas Shrugged," Brook said in a statement to FoxNews.com. "Not only does the book explain, in economic, political and philosophical terms, the challenges facing this country, but it also shows what's required to restore the ideals of the Founding Fathers. Atlas Shrugged is not a Republican or conservative book, but an American book: a hymn to the ideals of individualism, capitalism, and the free human mind."

 Sexy If its unladylike, fattening or fun, I'm in!
  

by on Feb. 8, 2013 at 11:21 AM
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Veni.Vidi.Vici.
by on Feb. 8, 2013 at 11:29 AM
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I think it's a great book and worthy of class time.

JakeandEmmasMom
by Platinum Member on Feb. 8, 2013 at 11:35 AM
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I don't think the majority of today's high schoolers would understand it or would actually take the time to plow all the way through it.
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Veni.Vidi.Vici.
by on Feb. 8, 2013 at 11:38 AM
2 moms liked this


Quoting JakeandEmmasMom:

I don't think the majority of today's high schoolers would understand it or would actually take the time to plow all the way through it.

Same could be said for Shakespeare and Dickinson


Woodbabe
by Woodie on Feb. 8, 2013 at 11:40 AM

Sadly true. They'd be online looking for cliff notes and buying premade essays.

Quoting JakeandEmmasMom:

I don't think the majority of today's high schoolers would understand it or would actually take the time to plow all the way through it.


 Sexy If its unladylike, fattening or fun, I'm in!
  

futureshock
by Ruby Member on Feb. 8, 2013 at 11:42 AM
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Yes.  I read The Fountainhead in high school and I read Atlas Shrugged last year.  Both excellent books.

JakeandEmmasMom
by Platinum Member on Feb. 8, 2013 at 11:48 AM

 

Quoting Veni.Vidi.Vici.:


Quoting JakeandEmmasMom:

I don't think the majority of today's high schoolers would understand it or would actually take the time to plow all the way through it.

Same could be said for Shakespeare and Dickinson

 Shakespeare and Dickinson aren't nearly as long as Atlas.  You might take a month to get through Hamlet if you wanted to be very thorough.  Atlas would take at least the better part of a year.

I'm speaking of regular students, not Honors level students.  It only took me a month to get through Atlas when I read it for an Honors English project.  But even then, my classmates thought I was crazy to take it on.

Veni.Vidi.Vici.
by on Feb. 8, 2013 at 11:50 AM


Quoting JakeandEmmasMom:

 

Quoting Veni.Vidi.Vici.:


Quoting JakeandEmmasMom:

I don't think the majority of today's high schoolers would understand it or would actually take the time to plow all the way through it.

Same could be said for Shakespeare and Dickinson

 Shakespeare and Dickinson aren't nearly as long as Atlas.  You might take a month to get through Hamlet if you wanted to be very thorough.  Atlas would take at least the better part of a year.

I'm speaking of regular students, not Honors level students.  It only took me a month to get through Atlas when I read it for an Honors English project.  But even then, my classmates thought I was crazy to take it on.

I read it for pleasure and I would have failed miserably at it in HS just like I failed at everything else.

INO time constraints aren't a reason to not take on a book of this caliber. JMO

Mommy_of_Riley
by Jes on Feb. 8, 2013 at 11:51 AM
1 mom liked this
Good book. And it was required for my 9th grade literature class...
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JakeandEmmasMom
by Platinum Member on Feb. 8, 2013 at 11:56 AM
2 moms liked this

 

Quoting Veni.Vidi.Vici.:


Quoting JakeandEmmasMom:

 

Quoting Veni.Vidi.Vici.:


Quoting JakeandEmmasMom:

I don't think the majority of today's high schoolers would understand it or would actually take the time to plow all the way through it.

Same could be said for Shakespeare and Dickinson

 Shakespeare and Dickinson aren't nearly as long as Atlas.  You might take a month to get through Hamlet if you wanted to be very thorough.  Atlas would take at least the better part of a year.

I'm speaking of regular students, not Honors level students.  It only took me a month to get through Atlas when I read it for an Honors English project.  But even then, my classmates thought I was crazy to take it on.

I read it for pleasure and I would have failed miserably at it in HS just like I failed at everything else.

INO time constraints aren't a reason to not take on a book of this caliber. JMO

 The main reason I disagree is that there are SO many high-caliber, worthwhile works of literature and a limited amount of time to cover them all.  This is particularly true when (at least, back in my day) certain works were included on the SAT, and thus HAD to be covered so that we would be prepared.  I just don't see taking up so much time on a work that 90% of the students wouldn't understand and have no interest in trying to understand.  It seems like a waste of time when college-bound students need to be prepared for tests and college courses.

JakeandEmmasMom
by Platinum Member on Feb. 8, 2013 at 11:57 AM

 

Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:

Good book. And it was required for my 9th grade literature class...

 How much time did your teacher spend on it?  Was it an honors-level class?  Do you remember if most students understood it?

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