HAVERHILL, MA—Conveying their eagerness to dodge the possibility of any classroom role-playing exercises or featured guest speakers, 10th-grade students at East High School told reporters Thursday they were thankful that the implementation of a standardized curriculum had spared them from their free-spirited English teacher’s antics. “I’m just relieved that Mr. [Aaron] Honing has to teach straight to the test and can’t do anything like recite an original poem out loud and then urge us to express ourselves through poetry too,” said 16-year-old Peter Macpherson, adding that were it not for nationally established achievement benchmarks, his teacher would likely feel free to engage in all sorts of creative activities, such as organizing a class trip to a colonial homestead during their reading of The Scarlet Letter or coming into class dressed as Mark Twain. “Thank God we all take a single, statewide exam at the end of the year, so there’s no way he’s going to waste class time with any inspirational speeches encouraging us to excel as unique individuals.” The students confirmed they were happy to memorize as many rote facts as necessary rather than listen to Mr. Honing speak in Middle English for their entire Chaucer unit.
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