In today’s New York Times:

“Who’s Minding the Schools?” quoted from a Common Core English Language Arts test given to New York State eighth-grade students. The test challenged the students to draw a conclusion from the following text:

“Local pride in the preservation of cultural things that belong to the old days should be stimulated wherever possible, particularly in the minority groups. Remember that the Anglo-Saxon music that we are inclined to think of as the only ‘American’ kind is a relatively recent importation on this continent, exactly as the Hungarian, Finnish, and Armenian folk musics are.”

The correct answer is F, for the test’s own failing grade. What does it say about an English Language Arts test partly written in prose so clumsy that one hopes it will never be imitated by students taking the exam?

JOHN FRY
Katonah, N.Y., June 10, 2013

LETTERS | Will Common Core Improve Schools? Published: June 11, 2013