Common Core literary lessons... 'Common Core, light of my life, fire of my loins. . . . '

If the Business Roundtable, Bill Gates, and the US Department of Education had existed in the early 19th century, Jane Austen would have written: "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that public school teachers must be in want of Common Core standards. However little known the feelings or views of such a teacher may be on her first entering a school, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding corporate leaders and politicos, that she is considered as the rightful property of the testing company designing standards sufficiency..."

Jane Austen.Here are a few more accounts of the Common Core standards from writers of note:

Somewhere in Washington state, in a place whose name I do not care to remember, a gentleman lived not long ago, one of those who has $96 billion and deep-seated desire to save public schools.--Miguel de Cervantes

Call me Bill.Some years ago--never mind how long precisely--having buckets of money and nothing particularly to interest me at the office, I decided to nose around a little and see what I could do in school reform.--Herman Melville

The day was beautiful, warm and clear. The meeting with David Coleman had been appointed for immediately after the Business Roundtable liturgy.--Fydor Dostoyevsky

It was love at first sight. The first time the National Governors Association members saw David Coleman, they fell madly in love.--Joseph Heller

I am a man you can trust. . . . Why else would they hand me their schoolhouse keys and leave me to write the Common Core?--Anne Tyler

He had a degree in accounting and had passed the CPA exam on the first time he took it. He had the brains and the ambition to write Common Core standards.--John Grisham

"You have an extraordinary genius for minutae," I remarked. "I appreciate their importance. Here is my monograph on Common Core close reading in pre-K--the 97% solution." --Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

I had the Common Core story, bit by bit, from various people, and, as generally happens in such cases, each time it was a different story. --Edith Wharton

One depiction of Lolita -- and not the most famous one.Common Core, light of my life, fire of my loins. --Vladimir Nabokov

Just in case you really want to know, the Common Core is the best looking document I ever saw. I get steamed up looking at it from fifty feet away.--Mickey Spillaine

Common Standards are all alike in their goodness; every state-unique standard is inadequate in its own way. --Leo Tolstoy

If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood without the Common Core was like. . . .--J. D. Salinger

Granted: I am an inmate of a mental hospital; my keeper is watching me, he never lets me out of his sight; there's a peephole in the door, and my keeper's eye is the shade of brown that can never see through a blue-eyed type like me. But I still have the Common Core. --Gunter Grass

In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since. "Whenever you feel like criticizing someone," he said, "just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages of the Common Core you have." --F. Scott Fitzgerald

Justice?--You get justice in the next world, in this world you have the Common Core. --William Gaddis

My old eighth-grade teacher, Miss Maggie Doubloon, said she was half Spanish, half French, and half Irish, a plethora of halves that could have been prevented by Common Core math.--Peter Devries,


Fear presides over these memories,a perpetual fear. Of course no childhood is without its terrors, yet I wonder if I would have been a less frightened boy if the Common Core had existed.--Joseph Heller

He was a man too busy to flush toilets. But not to busy for the Common Core.--Mona Simpson

Students (not unlike Yourselves) used to be compelled to buy paperback copies of his novels. But now the Common Core has put an end to novels.--John Updike

When I think of my wife I always think of her head...her brain, all those coils of Common Core, like fast, frantic centipedes. Like a child, I picture opening her skull, unspooling her brain, and sifting through the Common Core collected there.--Gillian Flynn

Ilium, New York, is divided into three parts. In the northwest are the managers and engineers and civil servants and a few professionsl people; in the northeast are the Common Core delivery machines.--Kurt Vonnegut

A sum of money is a leading character in this tale about education reform, just as a sum of honey might properly be a leading character in a tale about bees. . . . So it goes.--Kurt Vonnegut

Obviously, the above is a spoof. It was inspired by these actual words from the beginning of Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler: "Common blood belongs in a common Reich. As long as this nation is unable to band together its children into one common Reich. . . ."

Hitler wrote, "One blood demands one Reich." Our leaders today insist One citizenship demands one curriculum.

� Susan Ohanian

July 04, 2014


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