Find-that-post-filter: standardized test editor butchers a short story. January 5, 2017 9:15 PM   Subscribe

Pretty sure I saw this on Metafilter, but I don't recall it well enough to find it using search. The author of a cute and thought-provoking little short story gave permission for the story to be used, slightly edited, on a standardized test. The exam editor completely rewrote the story, adding a character, woodenizing the dialogue, and changing the ending. Trying to imagine where I lived when I read it, I figure that 2006--2009 was a more likely time period that 2010--2012.

My effort to recall was provoked by I Can’t Answer These Standardized Test Questions About My Own Poems, if that helps put you in the right frame of mind.
posted by fantabulous timewaster to MetaFilter-Related at 9:15 PM (10 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

That's the one. Pinkwater's original; the exam version. You're my hero!
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 9:32 PM on January 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

About a few hours later...

Well, if your plan was to cause me to fly into a murderous rage, congratulations.
posted by Literaryhero at 12:50 AM on January 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

[me thirty minute before reading those posts]

Today is going to be a good day!

[me now]

American youth will be destroyed by our deprivations and sleeves
posted by Tevin at 5:47 AM on January 6, 2017

Man, editors are a weird and wondrous lot.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:34 AM on January 6, 2017

Test takers were then asked why the animals ate the pineapple, and which of the animals was the wisest. Both answers were multiple choice.
posted by mbrubeck at 7:46 AM on January 6, 2017

Clearly the answer is that the animals ate the pineapple because pineapples are yummy. Raw eggplant, not so much, which is why the story needed to be changed.
posted by Pryde at 10:52 AM on January 6, 2017

This is sadly not just a US thing. Similar problems in the Netherlands (article in Dutch).
posted by blub at 5:23 AM on January 7, 2017

The Pinkwater story was mentioned in the first sentence of yesterday’s Washington Post article on standardized test source material. Coincidence, or is reporter Valerie Strauss a MeFi reader?
posted by mbrubeck at 9:09 AM on January 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

Thanks for reminding me of that few years of my life spent editing standardized testing material. Damn, that was boring.
posted by fiercecupcake at 7:28 AM on January 12, 2017

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