Reading is Soooo Retro

21st Century Literacy Log has some info from her post “Building Deeper Readers” and provides a few interesting phrases for the current phase of twenty-first century fiction:

….”Endangered species—Perhaps most endangered of all . . . the adolescent reader….

“….readicide”

“….Rather than lift up struggling readers, an emphasis on test prep ensures struggling readers will continue to struggle….”

In plain polemic: Readicide remains rampant across America, but should Texans worry? Can’t the clerics of twenty-first century Texas strive to function as technocratic gatekeepers of internet methods, software grammar, and the laws of search to the illiterate demos? Can’t we all guard each other’s gate as in Kafka’s parable of Before the Law (1925)? What’s wrong with a twenty-first century writer “doing his own thing” if it involves only one of the various types of reading, writing or technology skills? Readicide?—please. Bookbread says, “Bring it on.”

Some of 21st‘s notes on educating aptly apply to current students of Texas public schools, considering their reading habits.

“In short, all this emphasis on test prep plays a large part in maintaining ‘apartheid schools….'”

Bookbread can’t vouch for the accuracy of this assertion—I seem to recall that apartheid schools (ethnically and scholastically) were maintained by the state well before the modern era of public education and its emphasis on test prepping. Who’s to say there won’t be “apartheid schools” once citizens grown bored with spending their time and money on test prepping and standardization? Again, from 21st‘s notes:

“Remember: WYTIWYG (‘witty-wig’)—’What You Test Is What You Get.'”

This assertion appears accurate in so far as it demonstrates the current need for test-teachers, reading teachers, writing teachers, etc.

Texas, moreover, will focus on test-teachers and student testers. Its graduates will know how to take (i.e. read questions and write answers for) a Texas test. Beyond that, who’s to say?


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