US literature classics nixed from British curriculum - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

'To Kill a Mockingbird' among US classics nixed from British exam curriculum

Posted: Updated:
Harper Lee, the author of the novel 'To Kill a Mockingbird,' was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush in 2007. (Source: White House photo by Eric Draper) Harper Lee, the author of the novel 'To Kill a Mockingbird,' was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush in 2007. (Source: White House photo by Eric Draper)
  • InternationalMore>>

  • US pushes for truce as Gaza battle rages

    US pushes for truce as Gaza battle rages

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 5:48 PM EDT2014-07-23 21:48:34 GMT
    Dozens of Palestinian families trapped by clashes between Hamas militants and Israeli troops are scrambling to flee a southern Gaza Strip neighborhood as Israel reported that two more of its soldiers have died in...More >
    The United States announced signs of progress in cease-fire talks Wednesday, but prospects for a quick end to the fighting were dim as Palestinian families fled fierce battles in southern Gaza and the death toll rose to at...More >
  • UN says civilians make up most of Gaza deaths

    UN says civilians make up most of Gaza deaths

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 5:33 PM EDT2014-07-23 21:33:21 GMT
    Shopkeepers say they were sitting outside their shuttered businesses Wednesday, catching a break from being cooped up during wartime, when an Israeli missile struck a nearby mosque, killing a truck driver and...More >
    Shopkeepers say they were sitting outside their shuttered businesses Wednesday, catching a break from being cooped up during wartime, when an Israeli missile struck a nearby mosque, killing a truck driver and wounding 45...More >
  • 2 bombs kill at least 39 in Kaduna, north Nigeria

    2 bombs kill at least 39 in Kaduna, north Nigeria

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 5:32 PM EDT2014-07-23 21:32:50 GMT
    Police say at least 25 people were killed Wednesday by two bombings in the northern city of Kaduna.More >
    Bomb blasts appearing to target former Nigerian military ruler Muhammadu Buhari and a prominent moderate Muslim cleric killed dozens of people Wednesday, but left both leaders unharmed, according to Nigerian state security.More >

(RNN) - Several classic works of American literature are being removed from Britain's General Certificate of Secondary Education curriculum in favor of British works, the Guardian reported.

The report said Michael Gove, the education secretary, insisted on the alterations to the secondary education curriculum.

OCR, one of the largest exam boards in British education, will release the revamped national standards this week for accreditation.

Among the notable works on the curricular chopping block are the novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, the play The Crucible by Arthur Miller and the novella Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck.

The Steinbeck novella was studied by 90 percent of British teens taking the English literature exam in the past, a statistic that "really disappointed" the education secretary, according to the Times.

The redesigned syllabus, used to prepare high-school aged children for their competency exams,  also de-emphasizes 20th century works to focus on older literature such as "Shakespeare, 19-century novels, Romantic poetry and other high-quality fiction and drama," according to OCR.

Gove has been widely criticized on social media. Some of Gove's detractors accuse him of making choices based on anti-foreign sentiment, including Arthur Miller biographer Christopher Bigsby, professor of American studies at the University of East Anglia.

In this vein, actor Chris Addison commented about the controversy on Twitter: "Bloody foreign books. Comin' over 'ere, stimulatin' our intellects."

The Department for Education defended the curriculum change, the Guardian reported, stating that the move bans no books.

"It does ensure pupils will learn about a wide range of literature, including at least one Shakespeare play, a 19th-century novel written anywhere and post-1914 fiction or drama written in the British Isles," the department stated.

Students take the GCSE in the 11th year of schooling, and can earn a grade from A to G, with A being the highest level of certification.

Copyright 2014 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow
Fox 5
Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2014, KVVU Broadcasting Corporation, Las Vegas, NV and WorldNow. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service..