More from the "We're DOOMED" file: English teachers who can't speak English!


Light-skinned, with no Negro dialect.
I deal every day with the District of Columbia Public Schools system, and I could go on and on about the horror stories of how incompetent and broken it is. That's why newly elected D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty made education such a big part of his campaign platform - he knows just how shitty it is. And though D.C. is a special case, the situation with our public schools is much the same around the country.

(My personal feeling is that so long as the various teacher's unions around the country keep feeding the coffers of the Democrat party, not a hell of a lot is going to get done to REALLY put the pressure on the overall educational system to improve things, but that's neither here nor there)

Here's a rather disturbing story, however, which ties in to the overall immigration crisis: teachers in Arizona teaching English, when they themselves seem rather pitifully unqualified to do so, because they can't really speak the language themselves:

State faults teachers of English learners
Pat Kossan
The Arizona Republic
Aug. 31, 2007 12:00 AM

Hundreds of students in Arizona are trying to learn English from teachers who don't know the language, state officials say.

The kids are taught by teachers who don't know English grammar and can't pronounce English words correctly. Last year, for example, a Mesa teacher stood in front of a class of language learners and announced, "Sometimes, you are not gonna know some." A teacher in Phoenix's Creighton Elementary District asked her kids, "If you have problems, to who are you going to ask?" A Casa Grande Elementary District teacher asked her kids to "read me first how it was before."

Each year, the state evaluates a sampling of classrooms where kids are learning English. Last year, officials visited 32 districts and found similar problems at nine. Some teachers' English was so poor that even state officials strained to understand them. The state also found that students learning English at all ages were being taught by teachers who did not have appropriate training or materials. At a dozen districts, evaluators found teachers who ignored state law and taught in Spanish. advertisement

Each year, fewer kids who are still learning English pass the reading, writing and math AIMS test.

For the past five years, state monitors have evaluated a sampling of language classes to help find out why.

Here are some of the problems they found inside the classrooms at the 32 districts they visited for one to three days last year.

• Teachers speak poor English. At nine districts, some teachers did not know correct English grammar or pronunciation. In one classroom, the teacher's English was "labored and arduous." Other teachers were just difficult to understand. Some teachers pronounced "levels" as "lebels" and "much" as "mush."

At one school in Humboldt Unified, a teacher asked, "How do we call it in English?" Another teacher in Marana Unified told students, "You need to make the story very interested to the teacher." A teacher at Phoenix's Isaac Elementary explained, "My older brother always put the rules."

• Teachers still use Spanish in the classroom. Twelve districts had to be reminded that Arizona law requires teachers to use only English in the classroom and bans all texts and materials in any language but English. Monitors found teachers who used too much Spanish translation to help students and used storybooks, textbooks, posters and bulletin boards that were written in Spanish.

State officials allow Spanish-language books only in school libraries.

At one Isaac Elementary school, children could not answer simple questions in English. Students told the monitors that much of their instruction was in Spanish. In a class at Humboldt Unified, a teacher reviewed a list of vocabulary words by reciting them in English and having the students respond in Spanish. Some schools provided bilingual education to children whose parents did not fill out state-required waiver forms or did not fill them out properly.

• Some schools shortchange language learners. Some schools hadn't bothered to apply for tutoring grants available to help language learners, and many teachers did not have the appropriate training to teach English as a new language. One high-school teacher had only elementary-school credentials, while some had none at all.

In a classroom in Phoenix's Cartwright Elementary District, kids still in the early stages of learning English "were found sitting, comprehending very little, and receiving almost no attention."

Deer Valley Unified provided minimal materials and teaching materials for language learners compared to other kids; it also offered little academic guidance to high-school students learning English.

At Maricopa Unified, some language learners were placed in regular classrooms with up to 29 students. The hour of English instruction for these students was provided by a teacher's aide at the back of the class.

Arizona is revamping the way schools teach kids English. Starting this year, schools must begin putting language learners into four hours of classes each day where these students will learn English grammar, phonetics, writing and reading.

The state recently rolled out a new program to help administrators understand the changes and train teachers in a new prescriptive curriculum they will be expected to follow.
Just fucking wonderful. Score another "victory" for multiculturalism.

Glenn Dandy

o man.

I remember in my day If you didn't sing "Christmoss" and snap it off in the end... the crazy music teacher would scold you.


There's nothing quite like a shorn scrotum.
Here in NYC, they started a series of charter schools as an alternative to the NYC public school system. From what I've heard much of the curriculm is focused on cultral and ethnic "exploration" to instill pride.

The essential problem is the lack of focus on all the hard and so called boring subjects such as math, science, english, and grammer. Oh, and as recently highlighted, geography.


Another girrrrl!!!
This is what happens when you repeatedly push people through school. It's one thing to graduate high school with that level of command of the English language, it's another to earn a bachelor's degree and pass the praxis (or whatever you call the test you need to take to get licensed).

I blame everyone from the college level on up for allowing these people to become "teachers."


Megatron Star!
Same thing here in NYC. They have teachers teach English when it looks like they could use an English teacher. Problem is that no one really wants to be a NYC school teacher(low wages, stress, expensive to live, NYC kids, etc.). So as a result I guess they get what they can get and can't afford to be stringent to requirements.

I was somewhat lucky in high school that they had teachers who taught languages actually can speak it themselves.


Bastard coated bastard w/ bastard filling
Vyce, is it true that DC spends more per child than any other school system in the country?