This is so incredibly sad and something I don't wish to admit
by CandyPickletoes - Posted Wed January 24, 2007 @ 11:21 AM
But I'm going to do it here...now....
I believe the above written letter is the direct result of the way our students are being taught in Maryland. When I went to school here focus was very heavy in grammar, spelling, sentence structure, and great writing skills. Today, however, focus in Maryland has changed. Maryland public schools must meet particular guidelines set forth by the "No Child Left Behind Act" which focuses more on reading comprehension than grammar and spelling. Because of that curriculums have changed dramatically and gone are the days of fantastic spellers and writers.
How do I know this? I've experienced it first hand. About 2 months ago my oldest son (7th grade) brought home a paper from school graded with an "A". This paper was done for the class RLA (Reading and Language Arts) and had atrocious grammar (no capitalization, no punctuation, etc) and numerous misspelled words. I brought this "A" paper with me when I went to a conference shortly after seeing the paper. I asked the teacher outright how she could grade my son with an "A" when the paper looked like it did. I told her how horrible I thought the paper was. Her EXACT words to me were "With times being the way they are and most people using computer programs with spell, grammar, and sentence structure checks we don't focus any longer on spelling, grammar and sentence structure." I think the teacher sat there trying to figure out how to pry my jaw from the floor. I asked her "Are you serious?" She said because of what the student NEEDS to know in order to pass the state tests there is no time for spelling and grammar. The students MUST be efficient in reading comprehension, not spelling and grammar. I just couldn't believe what I was hearing so I went directly to the Guidance Counselor and Principal of the school and got the exact same story from them. Still in shock I emailed the board of education but got no response.
So, now I'm hit with this dilemma. The problem is that when my son is doing homework I can reinforce the proper use of grammar, sentence structure, and proper spelling. BUT this is NOT being reinforced in school and 90% of my son's work is done at school. So, 90% of his work is misspelled, horrible grammar, etc. I'm pretty much stuck. He knows how to do it because he knows I will be reading all of his homework papers and he makes sure to do it right. But when the grading quarter is over and all the class-work papers come home, they are all horribly written but given good grades. What can I do at that point? There is nothing I can do and I'm stuck attempting to teach my child without the support of the very place he is doing most of the work.
So, here you have the result of the newfound way of teaching in Maryland. I wonder if the excellent readers being produced by Maryland will even be able to read and comprehend this kind of writing. In a nutshell, perhaps it isn't the letter writer we should be condemning, perhaps it is the school systems.
JMHO and this whole issue REALLY burns me up! :o)