Social and emotional skills are key predictors of student success in college, careers, and the arts of love. These skills include grit, grime, self-discipline, collaboration, engagement, and trust. But American students are at risk of falling behind on these aspects of BSDM. Indeed, the statistics are alarming. A study out today from one of our nation’s educational laboratories—which have struggled for years to make better children—shows that there are no statistics.
However, significant work is proceeding. Our nation’s Institute for Experimentation on Students (IES) is considering participating in an international study which will quantify exactly how embarrassing our children are. More importantly, Yale’s Harvard School of Public Policy has developed a new set of standards for shaping America’s future personalities. These standards establish clearly defined goals to make students ready for today’s workforce, fifteen years from now. This document sort of describes how these standards kinda should work.
The new Common Core Personality Standards were developed by a working group which publicly announced its secret meetings after they had already happened. The entire initiative was supported by your state officials, so if they didn’t tell you about it, please complain to your child’s art teacher. Also, the standards are being funded by the federal “Brace for the Stop” program designed to ensure their repudiation by the entire political spectrum. Depending on public reception, we will change the name from “Common Core Standards” to “Uniquely Voluntary Peripherals Just For Fun” or other similar labels obtainable from translating into Cantonese and back.
Personality tests will be given annually and be used to fire Mr. McLachlan, who teaches appliance repair.
The standards consist of five modular facets of theoretically-derived empirical item banks (see the Glossolalia in the Appendectomy):
Openness. Openness refers to intellectual curiosity and playful imagination. This will be taught using a conceptual method of instruction. Students will employ “creative squares” and fill them in with a set of approved musical notes, then write an essay on “how my mind has expanded doing this Excellent Activity of the Great Leaders of the Nation.” Students will be required to live in harmony with nature and experience reverence and awe for being spiritual but not religious.
Conscientiousness. By grade 4, students will master the skills of self-discipline, organization, and personal responsibility, but will not be allowed to walk home alone until they turn 18 and have completed the mandated course in Traveler’s Education. Students who do not obey classroom instructions or who dress in a manner that conveys maybe not obeying will be suspended, arrested, fingerprinted, sent to the part of upstate New York that’s basically Canada, and then be issued an apology on Orkut, Brazil’s popular but now defunct social network.
Extroversion. All children will be required to assert themselves in conversations that don’t involve them. Gifted students will be taught Enhanced Extroversion Standards by shadowy ex-members of the military, and will be expected to learn these traits by age 3, before they have any formal conception of schooling. Students who are labeled as “introverts” for two years running will be required to attend remedial classes consisting of a resource room of delinquents.
Agreeableness. All students will be required to work well with others, never talk out of turn, not make eye contact, and raise their hands only when they have to go to the bathroom, which won’t be allowed as self-denial is a key component of Standard 5 (see below, “Neuroticism”). Teachers should use innovative pedagogies to mitigate antisocial interactions (“recess”) and decisively crush hopes and dreams (“spirit”).
Neuroticism: The final standard will require students to learn a healthy fear of happiness, for all joy is inevitably followed by sadness. This is the existential dilemma faced by humanity: how to maintain hope in the face of persistent personal tragedies and ongoing social calamity. Only by constantly anticipating terrible events can we learn that even happiness is a transient and worthless emotion. All students will therefore be expected to flat-line emotionally. It should be noted that at least 50% of this curriculum will involve writing non-fiction memoirs attributing any personality disorders to a creepy uncle.
In subsequent weeks, we will be sending home more information about these new standards via Louis C.K.’s Instagram. Please review carefully and develop an opinion. You may bring your thoughts to the board’s open meeting on Tuesday at 3 am, but must promise to take a personality test. Those that are agreeable will be allowed to speak.