OK, so I never felt inspired to read either To Kill a Mockingbird or Catcher in the Rye (it's just possible I might have read one or the other For School, and subsequently forgotten all about it), but, y'know, they are officially part of the culture.
And now they're being removed from the Common Core State Standards, to be replaced by...
- Recommended Levels of Insulation, by the the US Environmental Protection Agency
- Invasive Plant Inventory, by California's Invasive Plant Council
- Glorious Five-Year Plan for Progress in Industry, by Central Committee on Economic Planning
Seriously, if they're going to dump Literature in favor of "informational texts", couldn't they pick tomes not written by government bureaucrats? How about Steam: Its Generation and Use, by Babcock and Wilcox? Or Sutton's Rocket Propulsion Elements? If those are too informational (not to mention big, and heavy on the math), how about one of Tubal Cain's slim volumes on practical metalworking?
Or, if they must stick to the gov-lit genre, how about picking more interesting titles? You want the teenage boys paying attention, have 'em read Improvised Munitions Handbook, by the Frankford Arsenal. ("I hope you're all paying attention, because there will be a test. Anyone who loses fingers fails the class.")