ChatGPT Can’t Kill Anything Worth Preserving

Many are wailing that this technology spells “the end of high school English,” meaning those classes where you read some books and then write some pro forma essays that show you sort of read the books, or at least the Spark Notes, or at least took the time to go to Chegg or Course Hero and grab someone else’s essay, where you changed a few words to dodge the plagiarism detector, or that you hired someone to write the essay for you.

I sincerely hope that this is the end of the high school English courses that the lamentations are describing because these courses deserve to die, because we can do better than these courses if the actual objective of the courses is to help students learn to write.

But now that this technology is in the world, and will be widely available, we must think about what high school English should look like going forward. I’ve been thinking about these things for years, so I have a head start on others, but let me be clear ChatGPT has not created a problem that wasn’t already present. —ChatGPT Can’t Kill Anything Worth Preserving



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