School District's Error-Ridden Reading List Recommends Authors George Ornell and Emily Bonte

Posted on July 13, 2013

Many high schools distribute summer reading lists of books that students must read before fall. Unfortunately whoever wrote the summer reading list for one Long Island school district is in dire need of a copyeditor. NPR reports The reading list for The Hempstead Public Schools features authors "George Ornell" and "Emily Bonte" instead of authors George Orwell and Emily Bronte. But it gets worse.

Students are told to read The Great Gypsy, which sounds like either a rollicking adventure story or some kind of post-modern literary novel. The administrators were trying to assign The Great Gatsby, but it's doubtful whether anyone will show up in August knowing who Daisy Buchanan is. Unless they saw the movie, of course. The list's motto is "Those who read more, achieve more."

Hempstead is listed as one of Long Island's worst-performing school systems. Only 38% of its students graduated in 2012. Roger Tilles, a member of the New York State Department of Education's Board of Regents, said in a statement to Newsday, "It indicates again that a stable administration is absolutely essential for kids to get the kind of education they need. Hempstead has not had a stable administration for a long time and the kids are suffering."

School district spokesperson Alicia Figueras gave a press conference to discuss the situation. She said that "disciplinary action had been taken" against the employee who wrote the reading list. She didn't say what the punishment was, but we're thinking summer school would be appropriate.

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