Destination Education: Welcome to Common Core Airlines

Good morning everybody. Thank you for waiting. This is our first boarding call for Common Core Airlines flight 666 destined for career and college readiness.

We are so happy you’ve decided to spend ridiculous amounts of state and tax payer dollars to fly with us. Now that you’ve purchased your ticket we need to tell you that any extra baggage such as poverty, homelessness, secondary language acquisition, or any special accommodations you may need will have to be included at an extra charge. We know you won’t mind. We must pass these extra expenditures off and directly on to you or else we won’t maximize our profitability. Your baggage costs us money!  And after all, your baggage is not our problem. But we promise an enjoyable flight as we journey to the destination of career and college readiness.

Hello everyone. We are terribly sorry for the delay. Thank you for waiting for unknown amounts of time as we left you hanging in limbo wondering when we were ever going take off. Now that Pearson has arrived and has prepared the plane, we are finally ready to begin boarding.

We will begin with our first class passengers only. Anyone holding a ticket stamped with a “P” on the right side of your ticket which stands for “privilege” may board first. Please notice that you will be seated in our special private school first class section of the airplane. Once our first class passengers have boarded we will be serving you cocktails and warmed snacks while our remaining passengers are boarding the plane. We hope you will enjoy the special perks such as extra leg room, blankets, and your favorite magazines for your reading pleasure. We know that education travel must provide you with all the comforts and provisions you may need for a successful flight.

We will now begin boarding those in Zone One of our Common Core cabin. Zone One only at this time. Those holding a ticket for Zone One will see a special zip code on your ticket that ensures that you will be first on board and first to access to the overhead storage and comfortable seating. Again Zone One only at this time. We apologize for the tiny seats and limited storage. Sure you’re cramped like sardines. We needed to make room to pack in as many passengers as we could to maximize our own profits at the expense of your own comfort. But we know you don’t mind because you’ll enjoy your flight. And after all, without our airplanes, you’d be trapped in here and unable to get anywhere else.

Thank you. At this time we will begin boarding Zone Two passengers. We are boarding Zone Two at this time. Zone Two tickets can be indicated by your racial/cultural, disability or low income status which is marked on the side of your ticket. We apologize that all the resources such as overhead storage have been taken up by our Zone One Passengers. You may leave your belongings plane side with a ticket. They will be stowed below and returned to you when we have arrived at our final destination. After all, you don’t need anything that matters or belongs to you during your Common Core flight anyway. At best, your personal affects would have be crammed above your head in overhead storage like those clucks in Zone One. And since we do not allow you to leave your seat and move around, you won’t be able to stand up and access them anyway. So shut the fuck up, stop whining and just drop your shit at the gate. You might get it back if we don’t lose it or destroy it first.

At this time we will begin boarding our stand by customers who have been waiting to get on board any flight, any flight at all, that might take them on an education journey. Your stand by status can be determined by looking at your ticket and seeing the red X at the bottom right indicating if you are homeless, your immigrant status, or any other social or economic barrier that prohibits you from buying a ticket. Um. Just a moment everyone. We apologize to our waiting and stand by customers. Any all seats have been taken. Again, we apologize but all flights are currently full. Let’s face it. What would you have done when you arrived at the land of career and college anyway? Our crew have determined that giving you a seat would have been a wasted ticket anyway. But we know you understand and will forgive us any inconvenience this may be causing you. Please call our 1-800 number and wait for hours to speak to a computer generated machine which may or may not be able to offer some assistance. In the meantime we hope you will enjoy waiting on stand-by here at the airport indefinitely until we have given you further notice. Or not.

This is the final boarding call for Common Core Airlines. Don’t bother finding another airline. We are now the only company flying in and out between childhood and the land of career and college readiness.

Welcome aboard Common Core Flight 666 to nowhere. Um, I mean, to career and college readiness. We hope that those of you who matter were able to find a seat. Now sit back, relax and enjoy the flight. Please pay attention to our flight attendants Mr. Wilhoit, Mr. Coleman, Sir Michael Barber, Jeb Bush and the Koch Brothers as they note the safety features of this aircraft. Actually there are none. Flotation devices and a small exit window are provided in First Class only. However for those of you in Zones One and Zones Two, please note that in the event of an emergency the floor strips will light up, indicating that there are absolutely no exits. Essentially you’re all up shits creek.

Hello everyone. This is a message from your First Captain Gates and Second Captain Duncan. We regret to inform our passengers that we will no longer be providing cabin service. It cost too much money. If you didn’t bring your own food, beverages, and reading material … tough shit. Now that the doors have closed and we have taken off it’s not like you can get off anyway. And we are safely locked away behind closed doors so don’t bother knocking and asking for anything. Our flight attendants will be available to keep you in your seat and report you to TSA if you resist compliance. Now stay buckled in and stop complaining. We are taking you somewhere very special. But we cannot quite show you where it is we are going because honestly we really have no idea. There’s really no flight plan. And the plane is being built right at this moment in flight!

Dear passengers, we hope you’ll make us a part of all your future plans. We are expanding our number of destinations to include community colleges and institutions of teacher education. If you have any Common Core SkyMiles you’ll be able to fly to these destinations for free. For the rest of you, too bad. After we’ve landed this plane we don’t give a crap what happens to you anyway.

From everyone at Common Core Airlines we would like to thank you for your forced patronage and for spending all your state and local tax and federal dollars on Common Core Airlines.


Published by educationalchemy

Morna McDermott has been an educator for over twenty years in both k-12 and post secondary classrooms. She received her doctorate in education, with a dissertation focus on arts-based educational research, from The University of Virginia in 2001. Morna's teaching, scholarship, and activism center around the ways in which creativity, art, social justice, and democracy can transform education and empower communities. She is currently a Professor of Education at Towson University.

One thought on “Destination Education: Welcome to Common Core Airlines

  1. An article (New Test Format…), in the Dayton Daily News by Jeremy Kelley, introduced me to a new Gates-funded group called, Ohio Educator Leader Cadre,…….seriously. Last week, I found the Gates-funded, Silicon Valley-located, Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education, which is shepherding a Teacher Practice Network. “Knowledge Management”, it doesn’t get any scarier than that. Since American taxpayers are no longer represented in departments of education, Gates, Broad and the Waltons should pay the salaries of the employees. Get rid of the illusion that college drop-out, Gates, isn’t corralling our children into a nightmare of exploitation. While the reformers children attend schools that reject proposals like Common Core testing.

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