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Monday, September 8, 2014

For Immediate Release: The Common-Core Version of the Barrowford-School Letter

Over the summer, I read a BBC story about a British educator who wrote a letter which went viral (based on the ideas of a U.S. blogger) to reassure students at the time their high-stakes test grades arrived.  I intertwined what seems to be the philosophical attitude of David Coleman, "chief architect" of the Core, that people "don't give a shit" with extensive passages copied from the Barrowford letter to imagine how the Common-Core version might read.
The Common-Core Version of the Barrowford Letter
Please find enclosed your 2014 Common-Core NY State test results. You demonstrated huge amounts of test prep and tried your very best, but failed bitterly, during those tricky two weeks.  Keep in mind that these tests always assess all of what you need to know (in this case, what most of you do not know) in order to be college and career ready. The people who create these tests and score them do not know each of you..., nor do they wish to.  Actually, they "don't really give a shit about what you feel or what you think."
They "really don't give a shit" that you speak two languages. And, they REALLY, "REALLY don't give a shit" that you can play a musical instrument or that you can dance or paint a picture.
Don't kid yourself for one moment that they "really give a shit" that your friends count on you to be there for them or that your laughter can brighten the dreariest day. They don't know, nor do they care to know, that you write poetry or songs, play or participate in sports, wonder about the future, or that sometimes you take care of your little brother or sister after school.  What bullshit!
They "don't give a shit," and neither do any of us, that you travelled to a really neat place or that you know how to tell a great story or that you really love spending time with special family members and friends.   It would behoove you to be prepping for tests instead unless you wish to continue to appear moronic.   
They do not know that you can be trustworthy (but tell me, did you think to cheat on the test?), kind or thoughtful, and that you try, every day, to be your very best... the scores you get will tell you something, basically, that most of you suck.
So enjoy your results and remember there may be many ways of being smart, but when push comes to shove, you better summon your inner grit and get your ass in gear, 'cause nobody's going to give a shit about you if you can't pass our tests!  Have a nice day!

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