Dumbing Down: The Effects of Simplifying English

Tangents USA

This article was originally published in The Daily Pulp on June 9, 2014.

“The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one’s real and one’s declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish spurting out ink.” 

 George OrwellPolitics and the English Language

State governors and their administrations across America are collaborating with private educational firms to design and roll out new “Common Core” educational standards for K-12 schools. Similarly, the College Board, the highly powerful educational firm that controls pre-college standardized tests, is overhauling the SAT, the gateway exam for entry into college. In this short article, I want to examine one aspect of corporatized education reform: the treatment of high school-level English language and literature education, also known as ELA (English Language Arts). By focusing on a portion of…

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