Randomly selected articles from this year's issue

Dear Progeny,

Andrew Statum, Writing Fellow and Doctoral Candidate, English


Dear Progeny, The other day, my mother (your grandmother) came into my room (well, technically, as of this writing, it’s no longer “my” room, but serves as a guest room in the empty nest of my parents’ [so your grandparents’] roost) – she came with a small manila envelope and a handful of letters and 
envelopes and various folded papers bound together in twine into the guest room in which I happened to be lounging. She sat down on the edge of the bed and said they were letters, preserved over the years by her aunt (your great-great aunt) Peg, from my grandfather (so your great-grandfather) to various relations of his, mostly to his wife and mother (so if I have this right, that’d be your great-grandmother and great-great-grandmother, respectively?). She said I could have them if I wanted. She herself ...

Common Core Standards

Kathryn O’Donoghue, Queens College Faculty, Doctoral Candidate in English


“Nothing’s wrong,” the school social worker says, which is the first lie. She wants to talk to me about my oldest daughter. Desi reverses her letters, transposes words, neglects punctuation, writes sentences that, with their randomized use of capitals, look like ransom notes. “Her teacher is concerned about her,” the 
social worker continues, which is the second lie. Next year Desi will take the third grade standardized tests in English and Math, along with every other public school student in the country. Her school won a prestigious national award this year and ranks in the top-ten of city elementary schools. Since the citywide school rating system subtracts points for lack of improvement, the new principal is eager to distinguish himself by raising the 
exacting standards of his predecessor. 
Moreover, teacher evaluation now rests upon the test scores of students. The ...

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