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Why can't Florida's students write?
BIZPACReview.com ^ | 5/29/2012 | Kingsley Guy

Posted on 05/29/2012 7:18:20 AM PDT by SmileRight

When the passing rate for students taking the writing FCAT dropped to 30 percent this year, compared to 80 percent last year, the Florida Board of Education addressed the problem with typical aplomb: It changed the grading scale.

Like magic, failure turned into success for tens of thousands of students. Of course, they can’t write any better than before, but that’s beside the point. The students passed the FCAT, didn’t they? So their schools’ letter-grade ratings won’t go down, and their self-esteem will remain intact. That’s what’s important, isn’t it?

The high initial failure rate was due at least in part to increased emphasis this year on spelling, grammar and punctuation, a change in approach administrators didn’t adequately convey to the teachers charged with preparing students for the test. As someone who has made a living his entire adult life as a writer and editor, I find this curious. Good writing rests on a foundation...

(Excerpt) Read more at bizpacreview.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Philosophy; US: Florida
KEYWORDS: education; fcat; testing
Our schools are in trouble if they can't teach the basics.
1 posted on 05/29/2012 7:18:28 AM PDT by SmileRight
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To: SmileRight

This gives new meaning to grading on a curve, doesn’t it???


2 posted on 05/29/2012 7:22:40 AM PDT by Dilbert San Diego
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To: SmileRight

With all the Gender Confusion who has time to learn the basics.


3 posted on 05/29/2012 7:23:44 AM PDT by massgopguy (I owe everything to George Bailey)
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To: SmileRight

Been harping on this since I graduated with a BA in English 10 years ago: MOST people, kids included, can’t implement the written language like our predecessors.

Texting, Tweeting, instant messages, and email brevity all lead the charge for linguistic simplicity that eschews proper vocabulary, grammar, and spelling. Kids don’t want to know how to properly use myriad (note: it’s an adjective not a noun) or the difference between you’re and your or they’re, their, and there. They don’t care about serial commas or proper punctuation. They don’t care about ALL CAPS or exclamations!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’d bet that Florida isn’t alone in this country, but it’s the most prevalent due to the increase of standards for the FCAT which left MOST kids in the dust on their scorecards.

FWIW, Florida used to have a program called “Florida Writes” where assessments were given to 8th, 10th, and 12th graders on writing skills. Charlie Crist did away with that, IIRC. I scored a 6/6 every time I took it. Those of us who scored a 6/6 usually numbered under 5 for the entire school.


4 posted on 05/29/2012 7:25:40 AM PDT by rarestia (It's time to water the Tree of Liberty.)
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To: SmileRight
Because it is not important to the political educatocracy? What is important is a proper leftist indoctrination including a government dependency entitlement mindset and an assurance of a Democrat vote.
5 posted on 05/29/2012 7:27:56 AM PDT by Truth29
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To: rarestia

The unfortunate thing is that if you cannot write well, you likely also cannot think clear thoughts.


6 posted on 05/29/2012 7:31:25 AM PDT by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults.)
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To: SmileRight

how many schools even teach script?


7 posted on 05/29/2012 7:31:47 AM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: SmileRight
Public schools have been failing for decades. They lack the discipline and accountability.

Now that Florida has attempted to install some system of accountability, everyone is screaming because the FCAT testing system is revealing failure on multiple levels.

Well where is the surprise?

The FCAT system was not installed because the Florida Public School System was demonstrating excellence and success...just the opposite.

So an accountability/testing system was installed in a failing system and voila! It revealed FAILURE.

FCAT was not designed to be a universal teaching methodology...It was designed to reveal if the teaching that was being delivered was actually effective.

Public Schools as currently configured based on Politically Correct Values and Big Government Union Special Interests is a FAILURE.

Start by eliminating the Leftists Values and Big Unions...problem solved!

8 posted on 05/29/2012 7:35:25 AM PDT by Awgie (truth is always stranger than fiction)
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To: rarestia
Been harping on this since I graduated with a BA in English 10 years ago: MOST people, kids included, can’t implement the written language like our predecessors.

Texting, Tweeting, instant messages, and email brevity all lead the charge for linguistic simplicity that eschews proper vocabulary, grammar, and spelling.

Why do you speak in acronyms?

FWIW, IIRC.

Irony.

9 posted on 05/29/2012 7:36:43 AM PDT by Graybeard58 (Obama versus Romney? Cyanide versus arsenic.)
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To: SmileRight

Who noes y kids cant rite? Teechers do there best i spose.


10 posted on 05/29/2012 7:38:46 AM PDT by Jeff Chandler (Inner city violence has gotten out of hand. Our only hope is to pray to Saint Skittles.)
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To: SmileRight
Why can't Florida's students write?

Too many damn yankees moving down here to escape from the hellholes they created in the north...........

11 posted on 05/29/2012 7:40:03 AM PDT by Red Badger (Think logically. Act normally.................)
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To: SmileRight
It's not that they can't teach the basic it is because schools have become social engineering testing grounds.

In the 60's we had to learn "New Math". Now we rank 25th in world wide test scores.

In the 90's we went to phonetic spelling (fonetik spelng) now we rank 12th in reading.

In the millennium we concentrated on improving these scores so we neglected science, now we rank 29th in the world in science.

We took out physical education so no one would lose at any sport or physical activity and we improved our world score there to the #9 fattest country.

Look at Occupy Wall Street and you can see the fruits of our educational system (and a lot of nuts too).

12 posted on 05/29/2012 7:40:43 AM PDT by pfflier
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To: SmileRight
Obviously, we are not spending enough money on education. /s

13 posted on 05/29/2012 7:42:56 AM PDT by BitWielder1 (Corporate Profits are better than Government Waste)
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To: longtermmemmory; Awgie

It was reported just recently that schools around here were going to stop teaching script/cursive writing.

Teachers here complain that they have to “teach to the test” rather than teach, apparently, how they want. If the test is “spelling, grammar and punctuation,” what’s the problem? My kids are in an A-rated school and they already are being taught these things - in the first grade.


14 posted on 05/29/2012 7:43:52 AM PDT by SmileRight
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To: rarestia
I agree with your assessment, but your note is incorrect:

Kids don’t want to know how to properly use myriad (note: it’s an adjective not a noun)

Since myriad can be used as a noun meaning 10,000. By the way, Milton used it as a noun.

Of course, we have stopped teaching Greek and Latin, so the etymology of words is lost on today's student.

By the way, I remember a move back in the '90s to change certain plurals, such as appendices to appendixes and indices to indexes. Is this bastardization still going on?

15 posted on 05/29/2012 7:46:35 AM PDT by kosciusko51 (Enough of "Who is John Galt?" Who is Patrick Henry?)
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To: SmileRight

How come the head of the Teacher’s Union isn’t summoned before the legislature at budget time to answer this question?


16 posted on 05/29/2012 7:47:21 AM PDT by Mr. Jeeves (CTRL-GALT-DELETE)
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To: Graybeard58

No... it’s not irony. Irony is another word that is misused. Irony means “the use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning”

We are posting on a forum, and those are common shorthand acronyms. I could spell out For What It’s Worth and If I Recall Correctly, but I’ve put in my time in school and excelled greatly. Shorthand can be useful in proper context.


17 posted on 05/29/2012 7:54:16 AM PDT by rarestia (It's time to water the Tree of Liberty.)
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To: kosciusko51

Agreed. Having learned Latin in college, the meaning of words isn’t lost on me.

The common and proper use of the word is as an adjective. Most do not use myriad properly, even as a noun, but I digress.


18 posted on 05/29/2012 7:57:28 AM PDT by rarestia (It's time to water the Tree of Liberty.)
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To: rarestia
"Texting, Tweeting, instant messages, and email brevity all lead the charge for linguistic simplicity that eschews proper vocabulary, grammar, and spelling. Kids don’t want to know how to properly use myriad (note: it’s an adjective not a noun) or the difference between you’re and your or they’re, their, and there. They don’t care about serial commas or proper punctuation. They don’t care about ALL CAPS or exclamations!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

I agree. I would also add the fact that few kids read for pleasure anymore. I briefly had a Facebook account, and during that time I would check my teenaged niece's page. I was appalled at how many of her "friends" said they don't read. If you don't see the English language used properly, how can you learn to use it yourself?

19 posted on 05/29/2012 8:06:28 AM PDT by CatherineofAragon (Time for a write-in campaign...Darryl Dixon for President)
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To: SmileRight

To answer the title question, one need only to peruse a few of the articles, titles, and responses on FR to understand that writing skills have devolved considerably. Just two articles down from this one is an article with the title “Many Obama’s” that was obviously typed in by the original poster rather than copy/paste since the author of the article, Victor Davis Hanson, clearly knows the proper use of the apostrophe by demonstrating the skill in the lead sentence. The excuse of “it’s (only) the Internet” is supposed to stand as the universal escape from being exposed for lazy writing and thinking. I, for one, don’t buy that.


20 posted on 05/29/2012 8:11:17 AM PDT by T-Bird45 (It feels like the seventies, and it shouldn't.)
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To: CatherineofAragon

I give credit to the authors of books like Harry Potter and Twilight. They are making reading fun for kids again. Sadly, there aren’t enough children’s authors around to keep the kids enmeshed.

Even devices like the Kindle Fire are touted as “eReaders,” but they are seldom used to actually read.


21 posted on 05/29/2012 8:11:32 AM PDT by rarestia (It's time to water the Tree of Liberty.)
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To: CatherineofAragon

To further your point, someone recently said that today’s society is “aliterate”. In other words, they can read (to some level), but they don’t as a practice.


22 posted on 05/29/2012 8:14:44 AM PDT by kosciusko51 (Enough of "Who is John Galt?" Who is Patrick Henry?)
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To: SmileRight

What do American’s expect. As Milton Friedman points out here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5RDMdc5r5z8

Single payer gives low quality for high cost. - ALWAYS.

A good education system requires two things.

1. Parents pay directly for their children’s education.

2. Fathers raise their children.

Publicly funded education and those that support it are just are just plain stupid.


23 posted on 05/29/2012 8:15:06 AM PDT by ALPAPilot
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To: SmileRight

Part of the view from my corner of the world:
Teachers don’t have time to teach anything that isn’t tested. Guess what?? Handwriting isn’t tested, so kids are coming into 6th grade unable to write in cursive— and, therefore, unable to READ cursive. That’s here in Texas. Spelling has gone by the by because it’s not tested or only lightly tested. [So kids don’t know/no the difference between there/their/they’re, your/you’re, and of course, its/it’s— to name only small part of the spelling problem. They think “IDK” is an answer to a question.]
Parts of speech?? LOL! The structure of the language?? LOL, again.
What’s taking up all their time?? Making inferences, inductive and deductive thinking, using conjunctive adverbs (when they don’t know what an adverb is in the first place), etc., which are all fine things— if you know the basics first.

And, guess what? There’s good old bilingual education that really only teaches them in Spanish and not enough in English. These kids get to take their state assessment (STAAR) in Spanish all through elementary. But, suddenly, in 6th grade, the law requires them to take it in English. Guess what??? They fail— and the middle school takes the hickey for the 5 previous years of neglect.

But teachers can only teach the basics that are tested— or they won’t be teaching any more. And that’s fine, too. A lot of them are getting out of teaching. I met one with young children who quit to go to work for A. G. Edwards.

Education is BS.


24 posted on 05/29/2012 8:15:48 AM PDT by Clara Lou
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To: rarestia
Been harping on this since I graduated with a BA in English 10 years ago: MOST people, kids included, can’t implement the written language like our predecessors

It started before there was such a thing as a cell phone. I went to public school starting in the middle 70s and I never learned to write properly. I was a guinea pig for the in fashion educational theories that rejected teaching the basics and rules of proper grammar, etc. When my children come home with homework around phonics I have to hit the internet to even try to understand what they are doing.

25 posted on 05/29/2012 8:20:52 AM PDT by C19fan
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To: SmileRight
Pretty good article, but I notice that the site itself let a spelling error slip by -- "Yet, for all it’s sophistication..."
26 posted on 05/29/2012 8:27:24 AM PDT by GJones2
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To: Jeff Chandler
Who noes y kids cant rite? Teechers do there best i spose.

Please lurn to spail. /sarc

27 posted on 05/29/2012 8:37:22 AM PDT by QT3.14 (Never Argue With A LIBERAL...They Will Drag You Down To Their Level, Then Beat You With Experience!)
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To: SmileRight
Why can't Florida's students write?

If this question has to be asked, it shows critical thinking is failing also.

Why can't Florida's students write? Florida teachers don't teach.

28 posted on 05/29/2012 8:45:16 AM PDT by gunsequalfreedom (Conservative is not a label of convenience. It is a guide to your actions.)
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To: C19fan

I learned phonics early on but not in school. I attribute my educational excellence to my mother’s purchase of numerous educational aides including phonics helpers, encyclopedia and dictionary sets, and a very early computer for educational games.


29 posted on 05/29/2012 8:45:40 AM PDT by rarestia (It's time to water the Tree of Liberty.)
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To: massgopguy
With all the Gender Confusion who has time to learn the basics.
Exactly. Why teach students how to be Correct when you can instead spend the time teaching them to be Politically Correct?

After all, it requires zero education (but a lot of propaganda and persuasion) to get them all to vote democrap when they turn 18.

That's all that matters.

30 posted on 05/29/2012 9:05:20 AM PDT by samtheman (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2888480/posts?page=2#2)
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To: SmileRight

When I went through Instructor Training School (USN) they drummed into me: “If the student failed to learn, the instructor failed to teach.”


31 posted on 05/29/2012 9:11:33 AM PDT by MasterGunner01 (11)
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To: SmileRight
Question: "Why can't Florida's students write?"

Response: The Bell Curve.

32 posted on 05/29/2012 9:17:43 AM PDT by AEMILIUS PAULUS (It is a shame that when these people give a riot)
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To: Truth29

>>Because it is not important to the political educatocracy?

“A thinking child is a threat who spoils the harmony of the collective society that is coming.”
— John Dewey, the designer of America’s public school system.


33 posted on 05/29/2012 9:26:49 AM PDT by vikingd00d (chown -R us ./base)
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To: rarestia
Writing education pedagogy of the last 30 years has been completely devoted to fostering "self-expression," which is limited when students have to worry about things like proper spelling, usage, and grammar.

Rather than make children feel bad about themselves, teachers were instructed to ignore those standards and focus on the child's "narrative."

34 posted on 05/29/2012 9:35:29 AM PDT by Trailerpark Badass
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To: SmileRight

There are many reasons why FloriDUH Pooblik Skool Collective victims (AKA “students”) can’t read.

Most of those reasons are called “teachers”. These “professionals” regularly test in the bottom decile of the university population, and I refer to both students and Edumacation Department faculty.

Dwellers in the shallow end of the IQ/talent pool walk around in Florida’s school buildings sucking on one thumb while scratching their butt with the other. Their total lack of training can be tested by using the “Drill Instructor’s Test”.

Yelling switch will rarely cause any reaction, let alone obeying a command all ed majors learned when in edumacation class. After all, obedience is essential to collectivization, and that is their business.

Can’t teach, can’t even play “Switch”, and can’t be fired.

Bah! Humbuggery!


35 posted on 05/29/2012 9:35:56 AM PDT by GladesGuru (In a society predicated upon freedom, it is necessary to examine principles."...the public interest)
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To: kosciusko51

All this “myriad” talk reminds me of scene from the cult classic, “Heathers” where the main characters are composing a bogus suicide note for the girl they just killed:

Veronica Sawyer: You might think what I’ve done is shocking.
Jason “J.D.” Dean: Yeah, um, to me though suicide is the natural answer to the myriad of problems life has given me.
Veronica Sawyer: That’s good, but Heather would never use the word “myriad.”
Jason “J.D.” Dean: This is the last thing she’ll ever write. She’s going to want to cash in on as many 50 cent words as possible.
Veronica Sawyer: Yeah, but she missed myriad on the vocab test two weeks ago.
Jason “J.D.” Dean: That only proves my point more. The word is a badge of her failures at school.


36 posted on 05/29/2012 10:04:44 AM PDT by Above My Pay Grade (The candidate I vote for will NOT have a CARE after his name.)
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To: SmileRight
Not only can they not read or write, most can't do simple math in their heads.

Try and give a clerk $11.27 when the total is $6.27 (trying to make it easy for him/her) and watch a look of confusion come over their faces as they ponder what to hell you are doing as opposed to simply tendering a $10 bill.

At other times, when the cost is something very simple like $9.89 and you hand them a $10 bill, they actually have to look at their register in order to find out how much change they must return.

37 posted on 05/29/2012 10:24:46 AM PDT by Conservative Vermont Vet (l)
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To: kosciusko51

In times past, people longed to be able to afford books. Now we all can afford them, but many people just don’t give a rip about them. Depressing.


38 posted on 05/29/2012 11:16:59 AM PDT by CatherineofAragon (Time for a write-in campaign...Darryl Dixon for President)
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To: SmileRight
Why can't Florida's students write?

The schools are busy teaching them to play football!! Why does a school need to go to Texas to play a football game against a TEXAS school??

39 posted on 05/29/2012 1:00:51 PM PDT by ExCTCitizen (If we stay home in November '12, don't blame 0 for tearing up the CONSTITUTION!!)
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To: rarestia; dalereed
No... it’s not irony. Irony is another word that is misused. Irony means “the use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning”

I'm not the one portraying myself to be an expert in English, you are and as long as you speak in abbreviations, you are no different than the people you are putting down.

Hey, Dale Reed, what about "IIRC" and "FWIW"? Mean anything to you? I know how you like people who speak in abbreviations.

I am a self taught typist, it doesn't come easy for me as I don't even have all my fingers, I make mistakes but I'm not too damn'd lazy to spell out words instead of trying to type cool teenagerese.

CUL8er.

40 posted on 05/29/2012 2:45:21 PM PDT by Graybeard58 (Obama versus Romney? Cyanide versus arsenic.)
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To: Graybeard58

I learned IIRC and FWIW ON FR! How long have you been here, Graybeard? You cannot sit here and tell me that you’ve NEVER seen these acronyms, especially on Free Republic. They’re regularly used acronyms along with IM(H)O, TTIUWP, FUBAR, FUBO, YITBOS, etc.

It’s not a generational thing, as you surmise, it’s a net-speak thing. We were talking about structured composition in a classroom/standardized test environment. Do you not see the difference?

I’m not an expert in English by any stretch. I’ve committed 7 years of my post-secondary educational life to studying and perfecting my understanding and use of the English language. I know many who are much better grammarians and linguists. Why are you specifically keyed on two acronyms I used in my post?

I’m a self-taught typist as well. I taught myself to type 18 years ago at the age of 14, and I’ve been doing it ever since. Never sat in a typing class in high school or college. My apologies if you took offense to anything in my post, but I feel you’re barking into the wind.


41 posted on 05/29/2012 3:46:07 PM PDT by rarestia (It's time to water the Tree of Liberty.)
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To: rarestia

“I learned IIRC and FWIW ON FR! How long have you been here, Graybeard? You cannot sit here and tell me that you’ve NEVER seen these acronyms, especially on Free Republic. They’re regularly used acronyms along with IM(H)O, TTIUWP, FUBAR, FUBO, YITBOS, etc.”

I’ve been here 14 years and have no idea what any of that crap means!!!

Anyone that uses them should be executed!


42 posted on 05/29/2012 4:15:47 PM PDT by dalereed
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To: rarestia

“My apologies if you took offense to anything in my post”

No offense taken and none meant friend or should that be FRiend?

“I feel you’re barking into the wind”

I’ll be alright, as long as I don’t turn into a “barking moon bat”.

Have you heard the good news? I’m a new father!:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2886877/posts

(Caution - contains a picture with me in it.)


43 posted on 05/29/2012 4:22:03 PM PDT by Graybeard58 (Obama versus Romney? Cyanide versus arsenic.)
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To: dalereed

Do you just gloss over them? Have you trained your eye to overlook them? They’re on almost every post I read, and I troll FR for hours daily.


44 posted on 05/29/2012 4:31:47 PM PDT by rarestia (It's time to water the Tree of Liberty.)
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To: Graybeard58

Congratulations to you, sir. That is most exciting news.


45 posted on 05/29/2012 4:32:30 PM PDT by rarestia (It's time to water the Tree of Liberty.)
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To: Trailerpark Badass
When I was a junior in high school, (late 80's, California) my Honors English teacher became highly irritated with the quality of our writing. He walked to the chalkboard, wrote out a full sentence and attempted to walk us through the process of diagramming it. It took him about 30 seconds to realize NONE of us had any idea what he was doing.

Instead of chucking the next novel we were supposed to read and focusing on diagramming sentences, he gave up. He never mentioned it again.

He was really a great teacher in general, but very close to retirement by that point. I think he'd been beaten down by the system.

46 posted on 05/29/2012 4:34:02 PM PDT by Dianna
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To: SmileRight
It's not that (some) teachers can't teach the basics, it is that they wont.
They refuse to teach the basic, boring, repetitive aspects required for most students to actually learn a subject matter.

After all, that's so very boring and limiting, for the teacher!

We fared better with much less “teacher training” 100 years ago.

47 posted on 05/29/2012 5:12:50 PM PDT by sarasmom ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=xZsFe6dM3EY)
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To: SmileRight
It's not only Florida. VA went through this years ago when standardized tests were introduced under then-Gov George Allen. Students' scores were atrocious so, naturally, they lowered the passing grade. My then-fifth grader daughter and classmates were sworn to secrecy by their teacher who closed the door, and taught them how to diagram a sentence! That could have been a firing offense.
48 posted on 05/29/2012 5:15:57 PM PDT by EDINVA
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To: rarestia

This might interest you:

“Unstoppable rise of American English: Study shows young Britons copying US writing style”

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2889247/posts


49 posted on 05/29/2012 5:29:08 PM PDT by Graybeard58 (Obama versus Romney? Cyanide versus arsenic.)
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To: Graybeard58

Ugh... no more! I get brain fried for weeks after reading articles like these.


50 posted on 05/30/2012 6:18:49 AM PDT by rarestia (It's time to water the Tree of Liberty.)
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