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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 “They recently repealed a rule dealing with online class requirements and failed to move another rule forward dealing with administrators demonstrating proficiency in evaluating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 (41-50):
JakeandEmmasMom
by Platinum Member on Feb. 8, 2013 at 1:32 PM

 Have you read Atlas Shrugged?  What is your opinion on the OP?  Should it be required?

Quoting furbabymum:

 I did not take any honors classes. Graduated in '03. I don't remember any literary questions on the tests. Shakespeare, Beowulf, and To Kill a Mockingbird were my only required reading assignments. 

Quoting JakeandEmmasMom:

 They were all (and more) required reading in my honors classes.  Several of them were on the SAT.  I believe the AP English test mostly covered Pygmalion, if I remember correctly.  Was that one you covered in high school?

Of course, I graduated in '92.  What works were covered on your SAT?  I understand the test is very different now.

Quoting furbabymum:

 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 1:34 PM

 No, it isn't.  Have you read it?  You have it almost exactly backwards.  It's about what would happen if the 1% (the "Men of Brains") went on strike.

Quoting PinkButterfly66:

Atlas Shrugged is a story about the 99% protesting supporting the 1%ers on their backs.  I think a nationwide strike is a great idea. It would give legislators pause when they cannot catch cabs, cannot dine at their favorite restaurants, their kids cannot go to school, their wives cannot get their face lifts, or shop at their their botiques or visit their spas.

 

PinkButterfly66
by Gold Member on Feb. 8, 2013 at 1:36 PM

No I just read a summary of it.  But if the 1% went on strike, no one would notice.

Quoting JakeandEmmasMom:

 No, it isn't.  Have you read it?  You have it almost exactly backwards.  It's about what would happen if the 1% (the "Men of Brains") went on strike.

Quoting PinkButterfly66:

Atlas Shrugged is a story about the 99% protesting supporting the 1%ers on their backs.  I think a nationwide strike is a great idea. It would give legislators pause when they cannot catch cabs, cannot dine at their favorite restaurants, their kids cannot go to school, their wives cannot get their face lifts, or shop at their their botiques or visit their spas.

 


SlingsAndThings
by Bronze Member on Feb. 8, 2013 at 1:46 PM

I love Atlas Shrugged and read it for pleasure in high school.  I actually remember my comp 110 teach commenting on how she wished we could read books of that caliber as required.

I feel sad when I think about how long it was and how most high schools would probably just read the cliff notes and do the minimum to pass.  Heck, that's what most did with short books back in my high school any way.


Oh you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with those who are patient-


Al Quran 2-153


furbabymum
by Gold Member on Feb. 8, 2013 at 1:52 PM
1 mom liked this

 I admit I've only seen the movie. I will say there are probably better books out there that have been banned. I'd rather see a different book on the list.

Quoting JakeandEmmasMom:

 Have you read Atlas Shrugged?  What is your opinion on the OP?  Should it be required?

Quoting furbabymum:

 I did not take any honors classes. Graduated in '03. I don't remember any literary questions on the tests. Shakespeare, Beowulf, and To Kill a Mockingbird were my only required reading assignments. 

Quoting JakeandEmmasMom:

 They were all (and more) required reading in my honors classes.  Several of them were on the SAT.  I believe the AP English test mostly covered Pygmalion, if I remember correctly.  Was that one you covered in high school?

Of course, I graduated in '92.  What works were covered on your SAT?  I understand the test is very different now.

Quoting furbabymum:

 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 2:13 PM
Not according to Rand. According to her it would "stop the motor of the world" if the Men of brains" went on strike. ;-)

Quoting PinkButterfly66:

No I just read a summary of it.  But if the 1% went on strike, no one would notice.

Quoting JakeandEmmasMom:

 No, it isn't.  Have you read it?  You have it almost exactly backwards.  It's about what would happen if the 1% (the "Men of Brains") went on strike.


Quoting PinkButterfly66:


Atlas Shrugged is a story about the 99% protesting supporting the 1%ers on their backs.  I think a nationwide strike is a great idea. It would give legislators pause when they cannot catch cabs, cannot dine at their favorite restaurants, their kids cannot go to school, their wives cannot get their face lifts, or shop at their their botiques or visit their spas.


 


Posted on CafeMom Mobile
IAMmomtotrips
by Member on Feb. 8, 2013 at 2:54 PM
We do anthem in 9th, fountain head in 10th, and atlas shrugged in 12th and yes the kids are able to understand it.


Quoting JakeandEmmasMom:

 


Quoting IAMmomtotrips:

We teach many of Ayn Rand in our classes and I would bet that Ayn is rolling over in her grave being touted as a conservative novel!

 Which works, and what greade level?  Do you feel that the students truly understand her philosophy?


Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
rfurlongg
by on Feb. 8, 2013 at 2:59 PM
Yep. I read it in high school.

Quoting Veni.Vidi.Vici.:

I think it's a great book and worthy of class time.

Posted on CafeMom Mobile
Clairwil
by Ruby Member on Feb. 8, 2013 at 3:03 PM
Quoting Woodbabe:

Do you think this would be a good required reading for high schoolers?

I think it is an important book, because of the impact it has had.

I don't think the telling of the story has particular literary merit.  In particular, the characters are cardboard cutouts.


momtoscott
by Platinum Member on Feb. 8, 2013 at 3:13 PM

 Blech.  Atlas Shrugged is certainly a book that appeals to teens because the mentality illustrated is that of about a 15-year-old.  It shouldn't be required reading, it is a pretty stupid book and has little in the way of interesting ideas or language. 

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