Education

COMMON PORN: Another school district pulls a raunchy Common Core-approved book

Teachers and school officials in yet another American school district have become so appalled by the raunchy content in a Common Core-recommended book that they have refused to distribute the book to ninth-grade students.

This time, the school district on porn alert is in Newburgh, N.Y., reports the Times Herald-Record.

The book at issue is “Black Swan Green” by British author David Mitchell. The district spent almost $6,000 on copies of the book for 14-year-old students, apparently before anyone noticed its explicit contents.

Dozens of Newburgh teachers attended a school board meeting on Wednesday to express their discontent with the bawdy coming-of-age story.

The award-winning 2006 novel — sort of a very poor man’s version of “The Catcher in the Rye” — is written from the perspective of a 13-year-old English boy. It’s full of teen-speak and extinct early 1980s pop-culture references.

At one point, the young narrator vividly describes his father’s penis. At another point, as The Guardian explains, he voyeuristically watches a couple having sex and details the sounds made by the woman involved.

The words “dick,” “cock” or “erect penis” appear on at least 11 separate pages, according to Google.

According to The Record, the state of New York’s Common Core curriculum requires students to read a 20-page excerpt of the book.

At the school board meeting, teachers proposed that the district could have avoided this entire controversy and saved $6,000 by simply making copies of the 20-page excerpt.

It’s not clear if the excerpt contains the words “dick,” “cock” or “erect penis.”

Dawn Fucheck, Newburgh school board president, noted that the purchased books remain in sealed packages. District officials will now seek to return them for a refund of the $6,000.

One teacher at the meeting, Newburgh Free Academy English teacher Jen Costabile, said that the Common Core’s porn problem is broader than just this one book. She said at least three books “contain passages using inappropriate language and visual imagery that most people would consider pornographic,” according to The Record.

Other teachers vented more generally about the Common Core at the Wednesday meeting. A first-grade teacher warned that the new curriculum in her class is “not engaging for students.” The teachers union president complained that Common Core material is riddled with errors.

Common Core-recommended literature selections have come in for criticism around the country this fall. At Buena High School in Sierra Vista, Ariz., for example, 10th-grade students were assigned an utterly minor 1992 novel called “Dreaming in Cuban” by Cristina Garcia. (RELATED: Fifty Shades of the Common Core: how much porn is too much for high schoolers?)

Here’s a snippet:

Felicia learned what pleased him. She tied his arms above his head with their underclothing and slapped him sharply when he asked.

“You’re my bitch,” Hugo said, groaning.

In the morning he left, promising to return in the summer.

“Dreaming in Cuban” can be found on page 152 among the many recommended texts in a very lengthy Appendix B of the “Common Core Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects.”

This fall, for the first time, 45 states and the District of Columbia have begun implementing the Common Core State Standards Initiative, which attempts to standardize various K-12 curricula around the country.

The Common Core standards demand that students know certain things by certain grade levels, but do little to describe how teachers should impart those skills.

Criticism of the Common Core has risen sharply. Opposition has brought together conservatives who are opposed to a federal takeover of public education and leftists who deplore ever-more standardized testing.

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