What are you reading this summer? Perhaps F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel, “The Great Gypsy”? Maybe Chaucer’s stellar and singular “The Canterbury Tale”? Something by the famous “Bonte” sisters, or “George Ornell”?
Students at Hempstead Public Schools on Long Island, N.Y., might well be asking for those non-existent books and authors at their local libraries after the school district posted a summer reading list
that includes those gaffes and quite a few more. By the Associated Press’s count
, the list includes more than 30 errors.
The AP contacted the New York State Department of Education’s Board of Regents to ask about the list. In a statement, the board replied: “Hempstead has not had a stable administration for a long time, and the kids are suffering.”
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That’s a fairly grave response to what seems like a pretty funny story about some misspelled book titles and author names, but the Hempstead district clearly has been having serious problems of late. Last month, Newsday reported
that the district had changed some students’ failing grades to passing marks in order to avoid confrontations between students and teachers, an administrator said.
The schools superintendent did not return a call from the AP seeking comment on the reading list.
Of course, while we wait for the superintendent’s response, we might curl up with a good book, such as “The Scarlett Letter”—which one might presume inspired Margaret Mitchell to write “Gone with the Wind.”