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Required reading: 'Atlas Shrugged'

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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 “They recently repealed a rule dealing with online class requirements and failed to move another rule forward dealing with administrators demonstrating proficiency in evaluating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
Replies (11-20):
Denisethedaring
by Member on Feb. 8, 2013 at 12:06 PM
3 moms liked this

...and atheism, and the meaninglessness of marriage and the awesomeness of sex outside it.  :D  The Ayn Rand worship by conservatives always cracks me the heck up.  Have they actually ever READ any of her books..?  I mean, ALL of them, not just selected capitalism-worshipping sound bytes?

JakeandEmmasMom
by Platinum Member on Feb. 8, 2013 at 12:09 PM
2 moms liked this

 

Quoting Denisethedaring:

...and atheism, and the meaninglessness of marriage and the awesomeness of sex outside it.  :D  The Ayn Rand worship by conservatives always cracks me the heck up.  Have they actually ever READ any of her books..?  I mean, ALL of them, not just selected capitalism-worshipping sound bytes?

 I have to admit, that has really cracked me up the last several years.  I look at the people touting her works and think, "Really?  You must not have read very carefully, or didn't look very deeply into her biography.  She would have been positively disgusted by you."

Denisethedaring
by Member on Feb. 8, 2013 at 12:09 PM

Also, I don't think any of Ayn Rand's novels should be taught in a literature class because...I'm sorry to say it, but it is so...overall, she's not a good novelist.  She was an innovative philosopher and probably a literal genius, and frankly I love Atlas Shrugged (and The Fountainhead, and We the Living)--but they're not really examples of well-written novels.  They have their moments, but mostly she was not a very good fiction writer. Literature classes should be saved for really superlative examples of novel writing, not Ayn's mediocre-to-bad-with-occasional-flashes-of-brilliance novel writing.

Sagely
by Bronze Member on Feb. 8, 2013 at 12:09 PM

Holy crap.  That book has more pages than the Bible.


I struggled through it last summer, and I've got a 4.0 with just one class left in my doctoral degree.  It never ends.  There is always another page to turn. 


But in regards to high schoolers....I don't think so.  Maybe a senior-level honors class?  There are a lot of sexual references, promotion of casual relations, etc that could be a problem with parents who may have actually familiarized themselves with the content (though, admittedly, I doubt many have).

AdrianneHill
by Platinum Member on Feb. 8, 2013 at 12:26 PM
4 moms liked this
I don't know if the book should be read without learning about what a crazy and hypocritical little git rand was. And I think that is the problem with the number of people holding the Bible and Atlas Shrugged as the two books that should run American thought. They don't realize that rand is pointing at them and their belief in a Christian god as yet another problem with our country because the idea of Christian charity alone is enough to ruin the country for the producers and leave it for the parasites.
Some people aren't smart enough to realize that they are trying to marry two philosophies that despise each other and are absolute opposite worldviews. That kid that ran for republican VP is the one that jumps to mind as one who doesn't realize that Christ and superman would have hated each other
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pagancuriosity
by Bronze Member on Feb. 8, 2013 at 12:27 PM
2 moms liked this

you know...I read both Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead...and I still believe in providing welfare to people who need it...so I don't know what this lawmaker is hoping to accomplish.

talia-mom
by Gold Member on Feb. 8, 2013 at 12:31 PM
2 moms liked this

Kids shouldn't be challenged because they are lazy and mom and dad don't care to punish them for refusing to read?


Bullshit.   My kids will read everything they are assigned or they lose all privileges and fun.   There is no excuse in allowing kids not to read work because it is long or hard or makes them think.

No wonder countries around the world are kicking our asses in education when we have that attitude here.


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.



NWP
by guerrilla girl on Feb. 8, 2013 at 12:33 PM


autodidact
by Platinum Member on Feb. 8, 2013 at 12:38 PM
4 moms liked this

this is not a book to be tossed aside lightly. it should be thrown across thet room with great force. 

- Dorothy Parker

JakeandEmmasMom
by Platinum Member on Feb. 8, 2013 at 12:38 PM

 I volunteer at my kids' school every week.  I do spelling with my son's class.  Each child has individual words that they are supposed to work on in addition to the regular spelling list.  I write these individual words on each child's list in their homework packets, and then test the child on them the following week.  Out of 24 students that I work with, I would say a good 7 or 8 of them almost never get their words correct, over and over, week after week.  Finally I asked each of them if they are also practicing their individual words along with their regular list in their homework each week.  (In the packet is a green sheet divided into columns for each day of the week.  They are supposed to practice their lists every day).  They all had some version of, "We don't have homework," "My mom says I don't have to do my homework," "I only do my homework when I feel like it," etc.  This is second grade.  I have a feeling you would be shocked by the number of parents out there who see school as free babysitting and nothing more.

I stand by my opinion that there would be little value in spending so much time on Atlas Shrugged when there are other works that college-bound students need to cover to be prepared for tests and college classes.

Quoting talia-mom:

Kids shouldn't be challenged because they are lazy and mom and dad don't care to punish them for refusing to read?

 

Bullshit.   My kids will read everything they are assigned or they lose all privileges and fun.   There is no excuse in allowing kids not to read work because it is long or hard or makes them think.

No wonder countries around the world are kicking our asses in education when we have that attitude here.

 

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.

 

 

 

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