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Goodbye Thoreaus

My daughter, a middle school Social Studies teacher, recently attended a workshop on Common Core Writing Standards. While there, she wrote this poem. It perfectly expresses what many of us know to be true. When we take the heart and soul out of writing, students lose their voice and the world loses its future.

Our students have something wonderful to say. Let’s let them say it.



Goodbye Thoreaus.

√ You didn’t preview what was to follow.

Goodbye Thomas Paines

√ Accurate credible evidence was not widely used.

Goodbye Martin Luther Kings

√ Counter claims were not established.

Goodbye Sojourner Truths

√ Formal style was not maintained.

Goodbye Abraham Lincolns

√ Details to support your claim were bare.

Goodbye Thomas Jeffersons

√ Your writing only scored one point.

Goodbye Mark Twains

√ Memory serves no purpose.

Goodbye Karl Marxes

√ Where are your concrete details?

Goodbye Jack Kerouacs

√ Where are your well-chosen details?

Goodbye Dr. Seusses

√ Your vocabulary is not standard English.

Goodbye Writers

Congratulations. You scored highly proficient on your test.

Rachel Knowles

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