Wake Ed

September 2, 2014

Common Core critics attack use of ‘The Bluest Eye’ in schools

The banning of Toni Morrison’s “The Bluest Eye” from East Wake High School following a parental complaint takes place at a time when conservative groups have cited the book as a reason to not use the Common Core.

Is the banning of Toni Morrison’s “The Bluest Eye” at a Wake County high school a foreshadowing of what’s to come as North Carolina replaces the Common Core standards in language arts and math?

As noted in Monday’s article by Mechelle Hankerson, East Wake High School removed “The Bluest Eye” from reading lists and required any teacher who plans to use Alice Walker’s “The Color Purple” to assign it as alternative reading after receiving parental consent. The changes came after a parent complained about the books being used in the Advanced Placement English class.

“The Bluest Eye,” which has graphic description about a child rape, has drawn the ire of conservative groups around the country who’ve cited the book as one of the reasons to not use Common Core. “The Bluest Eye” is on a list of suggested books as part of the Common Core.

During state legislative hearings, several speakers cited “The Bluest Eye” to contend that the Common Core was promoting pornography. On the Stop Common Core NC website, a search for “The Bluest Eye” brings up several items, including posts that liken it to “Fifty Shades of Grey.”

With North Carolina appointing a commission to recommend what will replace Common Core, the group would probably face criticism if it included “The Bluest Eye” as an example of books that could be used in language arts.

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The WakeEd blog is devoted to discussing and answering questions about the major issues facing the Wake County school system. WakeEd is maintained by The News & Observer's Wake schools reporter, T. Keung Hui.

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