It doesn't take much effort to find a recommended reading list for high school students. Many learned minds have taken the challenge of creating a list and deciding which books make their list and which do not. There are many great books to choose from, and only four years of high school to read them. Time is the only limiting factor for facilitating maximum learning.
Just like any top 10 or top 100 list, we all can argue over which books deserve to be mentioned, and which books do not. Half the fun of reading such lists is debating which books were left out, and which ones should have been. Again, time forces the list to be limited, with many excellent books always left out.
So what does the Olentangy School District do when confronted with the challenge of creating a reading list from the many great classics? It assigns some of its college prep students to read Mark Hadden's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. I found this book on no list of classic must-reads. In fact, this book published in 2003 is as profane as it is vacuous. The question is what teacher in his or her right mind would assign this book to students? And what administrator would back up the teacher's selection of this book?
The beauty of the internet is that anyone with web access can go to Amazon.com and search books for various words. This allows parents and community members to see what students are reading without having to purchase or borrow the book. Want to search the content of The Curious Incident? Just click over to Amazon and enter profane words in the search box. You'll be shocked, as are many parents in this district.
With so little time between 8th grade and freshman year of college, the Olentangy District has chosen a peculiar approach to its mission of facilitating maximum learning for every student.
This all leaves me wondering what the staff and administration consider classics? And what they consider maximum learning? And I'm a board member.
Member, Olentangy Board of Education