I was talking to a friend who mentioned that her thirteen-year-old daughter was assigned The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective Teens as summer reading for school, and in googling the book (because she didn’t quite remember the title), I saw another review from a student who was assigned it in English class.

Why is this happening?

I see that there is an issue—schools are now expected to mold young people, and I assume this is part of how they meet that—but seriously? In an English class? I will admit that my Catholic high school had us reading The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck, but he is a doctor, that is kinda sorta philosophy, and that was in theology class, which was pretty much a four-year joke anyhow.*

I guess if students were reading this for a sort of “grow up” class—say, the mythical class that also teaches how credit cards work and makes you carry around an egg for a week to experience the fraction of a hassle it is to have a baby,** I’d be fine with it. It might even be a great textbook for that class. But English class?

* at least in my girls’ school, which started ninth grade with a textbook that summarized the Bible instead of just having us read it. While graduates of the boys’ school had read Augustine. Uh-huh.

** my later theology classes (“Christian Womanhood”) did include the egg baby (option: 5-lb bag of flour. Of course, real babies are both fragile and heavy, not one or the other), but not the credit literacy lesson, if I remember correctly. I forgot to hard-boil the egg before the day we were supposed to bring them, so I had to boil my baby. Oops. Just barely got away with it.

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