Before Common Core, students in most high school English classes read mostly literature, but the reality now is that students must split their time between fiction and nonfiction. There are even some school districts where teachers have been asked to drop novels altogether to meet the new nonfiction requirements . . . The downside, however, is that there is only so much time in a school year, and students cant read everything. Certain compromises, like abridging plays by Shakespeare and other storied authors, have to be made.