Good grammar

Capping off a debate described by one politician as "contaminated and a circus," the Texas Education Board last week endorsed a back-to-basics approach to reading comprehension and grammar in the English standards for the Lone Star State. The board rejected a proposal (supported by various teacher groups) that called for submerging grammar instruction into general reading and writing lessons. Instead, the majority of board members ("social conservatives," grumped the Houston Chronicle) voted for standards that ensure grammar is taught independently of its language-arts cousins. Texas teachers are now howling that their suggestions were ignored. Alana Morris, a district-level language arts program director, said that because Texas students won't learn reading comprehension, "we will continue to have boards like this with people who can't comprehend simple things like teacher input." Of course, the board did comprehend teacher input. It just rightly rejected the parts of it that weren't sound.

"English standards head back to basics" by Gary Scharrer, Houston Chronicle, May 22, 2008

"Texas Education Board rejects English teachers' input on new curriculum standards" by Terrence Stutz, Dallas Morning News, May 22, 2008

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