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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 “They recently repealed a rule dealing with online class requirements and failed to move another rule forward dealing with administrators demonstrating proficiency in evaluating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 (21-30):
talia-mom
by Gold Member on Feb. 8, 2013 at 12:44 PM
1 mom liked this

I disagree.  I think it is a cop out.  We don't demand more from our kids. 

They won't read it anyway.   Make something better seems to be the generic excuse for so many parents who choose not to force their kids to do work that they may not like.


Soon their entire HS curriculum will consist of Twilight, The Hunger Games, and the Cirque du Freak series because we don't want to make them read stuff that is hard or they might not like.


Each generation keeps getting more and more dumbed down.


Quoting JakeandEmmasMom:

 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.



 



pagancuriosity
by Bronze Member on Feb. 8, 2013 at 12:49 PM
1 mom liked this

I would wonder, if this same lawmaker would support making kids read the works of Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman? I mean, socialist/communist anarchism also calls for individual responsiblity, they just recognize that the needs of all must be met.

JakeandEmmasMom
by Platinum Member on Feb. 8, 2013 at 12:50 PM
3 moms liked this

 What would be the purpose of not covering works such as The Jungle, 1984, The Great Gatsby, Brave New World, etc.--works that college-bound students will be tested on in the SAT and entering university expected to have read--in favor of Atlas Shrugged which is not tested on, they do not enter university expected to have read, and the majority of students will not gain any value from?

I'm not advocating throwing out the classics in favor of Twilight.  What a ridiculous assertion.  I just see no purpose in throwing out other classics in favor of Atlas.

Quoting talia-mom:

I disagree.  I think it is a cop out.  We don't demand more from our kids. 

They won't read it anyway.   Make something better seems to be the generic excuse for so many parents who choose not to force their kids to do work that they may not like.

 

Soon their entire HS curriculum will consist of Twilight, The Hunger Games, and the Cirque du Freak series because we don't want to make them read stuff that is hard or they might not like.

 

Each generation keeps getting more and more dumbed down.

 

Quoting JakeandEmmasMom:

 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

talia-mom
by Gold Member on Feb. 8, 2013 at 12:51 PM

They won't like them.   They are hard to understand.

That is your excuse for Atlas Shrugged which I spent 1 month on as a sophomore.   We spent longer on The Merchant of Venice.


Quoting JakeandEmmasMom:

 What would be the purpose of not covering works such as The Jungle, 1984, The Great Gatsby, Brave New World, etc.--works that college-bound students will be tested on in the SAT and entering university expected to have read--in favor of Atlas Shrugged which is not tested on, they do not enter university expected to have read, and the majority of students will not gain any value from?

I'm not advocating throwing out the classics in favor of Twilight.  What a ridiculous assertion.  I just see no purpose in throwing out other classics in favor of Atlas.

Quoting talia-mom:

I disagree.  I think it is a cop out.  We don't demand more from our kids. 

They won't read it anyway.   Make something better seems to be the generic excuse for so many parents who choose not to force their kids to do work that they may not like.


Soon their entire HS curriculum will consist of Twilight, The Hunger Games, and the Cirque du Freak series because we don't want to make them read stuff that is hard or they might not like.


Each generation keeps getting more and more dumbed down.


Quoting JakeandEmmasMom:

 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.



 



 



JakeandEmmasMom
by Platinum Member on Feb. 8, 2013 at 12:54 PM

 I'm not advocating throwing out the other classics.  I'm beginning to think you misunderstand my position completely.  Either that, or you are arguing simply to argue.  I'm happy to clarify if it is the former.  If it is the later, I'm uninterested.

 

Quoting talia-mom:

They won't like them.   They are hard to understand.

That is your excuse for Atlas Shrugged which I spent 1 month on as a sophomore.   We spent longer on The Merchant of Venice.

 

Quoting JakeandEmmasMom:

 What would be the purpose of not covering works such as The Jungle, 1984, The Great Gatsby, Brave New World, etc.--works that college-bound students will be tested on in the SAT and entering university expected to have read--in favor of Atlas Shrugged which is not tested on, they do not enter university expected to have read, and the majority of students will not gain any value from?

I'm not advocating throwing out the classics in favor of Twilight.  What a ridiculous assertion.  I just see no purpose in throwing out other classics in favor of Atlas.

Quoting talia-mom:

I disagree.  I think it is a cop out.  We don't demand more from our kids. 

They won't read it anyway.   Make something better seems to be the generic excuse for so many parents who choose not to force their kids to do work that they may not like.

 

Soon their entire HS curriculum will consist of Twilight, The Hunger Games, and the Cirque du Freak series because we don't want to make them read stuff that is hard or they might not like.

 

Each generation keeps getting more and more dumbed down.

 

Quoting JakeandEmmasMom:

 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DivingDiva
by Gold Member on Feb. 8, 2013 at 12:58 PM
1 mom liked this

 


Quoting Denisethedaring:

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.


 I also find her novel-writing style to be very sub-par.   Although some of her ideas are compelling I have seen no examples of flashes of brilliance in her novels. 

I highly suspect Rush Limbaugh has never read the book all the way through.  I mean, really - he doesn't approve of sluttish behavior and such.   

Ms.KitKat
by Platinum Member on Feb. 8, 2013 at 12:59 PM

 I am not familair wirth the book but I will go look now. I'm always looking for a good read! However, why the passion about 1 book? Am I missing something? Does he own rights and looking for a pay out  LOL

 

talia-mom
by Gold Member on Feb. 8, 2013 at 1:00 PM

I disagree that it is a book that takes most of a year to cover.   I disagree that because it is long and hard and kids won't read it, it shouldn't be taught.   I disagree that you say teaching that means throwing out 1984, simply because it probably wouldn't be taught the same year.   It's a book that teaches philosophy and economics and politics and it something that I still reference in conversations today.

It is long.   So is The Once and Future King, any of the Lord of the Ring Books, Les Miserable, and Bullfinch's Mythology.


I am not saying it has to be taught.   But it certainly doesn't hurt the students to read it and learn from it.  We should expect more than the bare minimum for our kids and books like that certainly do prepare them for college.


Quoting JakeandEmmasMom:

 I'm not advocating throwing out the other classics.  I'm beginning to think you misunderstand my position completely.  Either that, or you are arguing simply to argue.  I'm happy to clarify if it is the former.  If it is the later, I'm uninterested.

 

Quoting talia-mom:

They won't like them.   They are hard to understand.

That is your excuse for Atlas Shrugged which I spent 1 month on as a sophomore.   We spent longer on The Merchant of Venice.


Quoting JakeandEmmasMom:

 What would be the purpose of not covering works such as The Jungle, 1984, The Great Gatsby, Brave New World, etc.--works that college-bound students will be tested on in the SAT and entering university expected to have read--in favor of Atlas Shrugged which is not tested on, they do not enter university expected to have read, and the majority of students will not gain any value from?

I'm not advocating throwing out the classics in favor of Twilight.  What a ridiculous assertion.  I just see no purpose in throwing out other classics in favor of Atlas.

Quoting talia-mom:

I disagree.  I think it is a cop out.  We don't demand more from our kids. 

They won't read it anyway.   Make something better seems to be the generic excuse for so many parents who choose not to force their kids to do work that they may not like.


Soon their entire HS curriculum will consist of Twilight, The Hunger Games, and the Cirque du Freak series because we don't want to make them read stuff that is hard or they might not like.


Each generation keeps getting more and more dumbed down.


Quoting JakeandEmmasMom:

 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.



 



 



 



furbabymum
by Gold Member on Feb. 8, 2013 at 1:05 PM

 None of those books were required reading for me and I do not remember any of them being in either the ACT or SAT back 10 years ago when I did them.

Quoting JakeandEmmasMom:

 What would be the purpose of not covering works such as The Jungle, 1984, The Great Gatsby, Brave New World, etc.--works that college-bound students will be tested on in the SAT and entering university expected to have read--in favor of Atlas Shrugged which is not tested on, they do not enter university expected to have read, and the majority of students will not gain any value from?

I'm not advocating throwing out the classics in favor of Twilight.  What a ridiculous assertion.  I just see no purpose in throwing out other classics in favor of Atlas.

Quoting talia-mom:

I disagree.  I think it is a cop out.  We don't demand more from our kids. 

They won't read it anyway.   Make something better seems to be the generic excuse for so many parents who choose not to force their kids to do work that they may not like.

 

Soon their entire HS curriculum will consist of Twilight, The Hunger Games, and the Cirque du Freak series because we don't want to make them read stuff that is hard or they might not like.

 

Each generation keeps getting more and more dumbed down.

 

Quoting JakeandEmmasMom:

 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JakeandEmmasMom
by Platinum Member on Feb. 8, 2013 at 1:06 PM

 I never said it would hurt them.  I never even said that it wasn't a worthwhile book.  I disagree with how long it would take to do it justice, not only because of how long the book itself is, but because the philosophy is one that the students would likely never have been exposed to before.  It would take a while.  IMO, it cannot be done justice in only a month.

My point is simply that there are MANY worthwhile books, and a limited amount of time to teach them.  Many of them are actually required for college-bound students.  I don't see sacrificing those (and something would have to be sacrificed due to the reality of limited time) in favor of something that would benefit a shrinking few. 

You seem to think it is the only book worth covering, and if we don't include it we might as well be having them read twaddle.  That's ridiculous.

Quoting talia-mom:

I disagree that it is a book that takes most of a year to cover.   I disagree that because it is long and hard and kids won't read it, it shouldn't be taught.   I disagree that you say teaching that means throwing out 1984, simply because it probably wouldn't be taught the same year.   It's a book that teaches philosophy and economics and politics and it something that I still reference in conversations today.

It is long.   So is The Once and Future King, any of the Lord of the Ring Books, Les Miserable, and Bullfinch's Mythology.

 

I am not saying it has to be taught.   But it certainly doesn't hurt the students to read it and learn from it.  We should expect more than the bare minimum for our kids and books like that certainly do prepare them for college.

 

Quoting JakeandEmmasMom:

 I'm not advocating throwing out the other classics.  I'm beginning to think you misunderstand my position completely.  Either that, or you are arguing simply to argue.  I'm happy to clarify if it is the former.  If it is the later, I'm uninterested.

 

Quoting talia-mom:

They won't like them.   They are hard to understand.

That is your excuse for Atlas Shrugged which I spent 1 month on as a sophomore.   We spent longer on The Merchant of Venice.

 

Quoting JakeandEmmasMom:

 What would be the purpose of not covering works such as The Jungle, 1984, The Great Gatsby, Brave New World, etc.--works that college-bound students will be tested on in the SAT and entering university expected to have read--in favor of Atlas Shrugged which is not tested on, they do not enter university expected to have read, and the majority of students will not gain any value from?

I'm not advocating throwing out the classics in favor of Twilight.  What a ridiculous assertion.  I just see no purpose in throwing out other classics in favor of Atlas.

Quoting talia-mom:

I disagree.  I think it is a cop out.  We don't demand more from our kids. 

They won't read it anyway.   Make something better seems to be the generic excuse for so many parents who choose not to force their kids to do work that they may not like.

 

Soon their entire HS curriculum will consist of Twilight, The Hunger Games, and the Cirque du Freak series because we don't want to make them read stuff that is hard or they might not like.

 

Each generation keeps getting more and more dumbed down.

 

Quoting JakeandEmmasMom:

 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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