Mar 17, 2012, 9:37 AM
Post #8 of 31
All of Mazbook's and La Isla's comments also point to how difficult it is to write well, which further points to the beauty, talent and skill of Shakespeare and other fine writers.
Re: [La Isla] More information about the coming INM changes
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It's easy to point to texting, internet posting, I-Pods, I-Phones, and ~ Everything-"I" ~ **, (me, me, me, My personal music, ...) etc as eroders of writing and reading skills. Unfortunately, US news programs, Public Radio (NPR and APR), and other respected English language sources routinely butcher even simple items in English. (Am I honing in on the point? Or does sharpening things have nothing to do with getting closer to a central critical issue?) The declining quality of editing and writing at major newspapers like the NY Times adds to this growing burden, but none of these touch on what may be the most fundamental problem of declining English reading and writing skills: US K-12 teacher competency (esp. lack thereof).
The last big study on US teacher competency found that US teachers (Education Majors) had the worst entering test scores and worst exit test scores of all University students, except for football and basketball players. "GIGO" seems to sum it up: Garbage In, ... Does this problem seem to have easy solutions? Maybe. Still, every time US voters and some parents rise up and demand that US high school teachers making an average of $44,000 a year meet basic competency standards, they run headlong into the 2 most powerful Unions in the USA. The teachers historically vote as a block, and their unions are the generally among the biggest donors, which makes teachers unions the most powerful groups in US politics. The unions consistently block improvement under the banner of "protecting the schools", while they really are only protecting their jobs and dues.
This problem has steadily grown in a series of cycles since the 1964 passing of US equal rights legislation. Before 1964, many many bright US skilled women were forced into teaching or nursing, creating a nationwide force of very talented teachers. Since 1964, as bright women instead studied Law, Medicine, Engineering, etc, the quality of Education majors fell rapidly, until the weak education major graduates of the late 1970's and 1980's became the faculty of US university Education Departments. These new low-end Ed. Dept. University faculty further lowered standards and content of teacher education courses to fit their capabilities. When the prof's have only "C student" abilities, it's nearly impossible to understand and design "A student" curricula. Can "C Students" really suddenly understand, set, and maintain "A" level standards? (Silk purses and sows ears?)
Is it reasonable to expect to remake, change, or fire 2 generations of entrenched "educators" ?
When the majority of US High School teachers in many districts cannot get passing scores on tests of the same high school senior-level material they are teaching, what should we expect from students - or adults?
I make these points to say that the low quality writing skills of both NOB and SOB adults are founded in K-12 education problems. Shifting focus to SOB: Mexican schools seem to focus on technical skills, with much diminished emphasis on the traditional Liberal Arts subjects of literature and composition. Even though US schools have literature and composition components, the low standards, low competency of teachers, and broad lack of parental support for homework and excellence all combine to create 40 years of generally less-than-competent HS graduates. **
Climbing off the soap-box: I suspect that it's best for all of us to just go with the flow, lower our standards, not expect much from government clerks in either the USA or Mexico.
Instead, consider defaulting to ni modo attitudes, realizing that: ~ time with family and friends ~ , ~ treating others respectfully ~ , and ~ finding personal meaning and purpose in life ~ are more important than demanding precise use of English or Spanish from ordinary folk.
**Please don't get me started on the short attentions spans of most adults today. I am only slowly learning to ignore the frequent whining and complaining of adults on expat websites who don't have the mental stamina or focus to read more than a paragraph of text. . . . ~ "Blame the author" mentalities abound. ~
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