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A new curriculum for public schools across the United States will soon make it mandatory for at least 70 percent of all assigned books to be works of non-fiction, eliminating classic works that have influenced great thinkers for centuries.
By 2014, schools in 46 out of 50 states will have adopted this new curriculum, which favors “informational texts” approved by the Common Core State Standards to prepare students for the workplace.
“English is the only compulsory class where students are encouraged to think differently, to be imaginative and creative, and if we take fiction out of the English curriculum, where are our kids going to get that?” said curriculum and instruction graduate research assistant Shea Kerkhoff in an interview with Technician Online.
But books such as JD Salinger’s Catcher in the Rue and Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird will no longer be the preferred reading assigned in US schools. Classic novels by authors including Mark Twain, Jane Austen, Fyodor Dostoyevksy, Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe and Ernest Hemingway could soon be forgotten and replaced with textbook-style history books and other works of nonfiction put together by government departments or research groups.
Suggested books included works by the Environmental Protection Agency, like the Recommended Levels of Insulation, as well as the Invasive Plant Inventory by California’s Invasive Plant Council.