Wednesday, October 27, 2010

New York City Principal Uses Bad English, Faulty Grammar to Show Why His School Shouldn't Use Textbooks

I thought you could only find this kind of story in Catch-22 or on 30 Rock.

According to a story in the New York Daily, News, Andrew Buck, principal of an East Flatbush middle school, sent out an error-laden email to teachers explaining why he thought they didn't need textbooks in the middle school.

Apparently, Buck thinks that because his students have lower reading skills, they shouldn't use textbooks to teach the students. He talked about how he didn't like textbooks in high school and college, and as a result, he doesn't think his already-poorly educated students should have to use textbooks.

Personal experience aside, which surfaces a concern about the potential adversarial affect of textbooks to students learning, let;s return to the essential question of learning and how it is best achieved.


Other you ought-to-know-better errors included misspelled words, missing letters, repeating words, rambling and incoherent sentences, and of course, misspelling the word textbooks as two words.

You can see excerpts of Andrew Buck's poorly-written letter here.

Now, I am not saying that people aren't allowed to their typos, misspellings, and little errors in their emails. God knows I make them all the time. But, and this is a big but, if you're going to make the case that your school shouldn't use textbooks, your email should not contain so many errors it would receive an F if you handed it in as an assignment.

It's gotten so bad that the Daily News is actually calling for Buck's ouster as principal. They even pulled out the results of a 2008 survey where he was labeled as Brooklyn's "least trustworthy principal."

I don't think he should be fired, but I do think he should have a chance to explain himself, engage in a public discussion about why not having textbooks in a school is asinine, and write "I will proofread my paper" 1,000 times.

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  1. Thanks for sharing, Erik. At the very least, this guy needs to use an email package with spellcheck & grammarcheck!

  2. It also looks like a case of using the big words to sound important. Using the Latin, Greek, and French derivations, instead of the Anglo-Saxon, often only makes it harder to read.

    Crap...How much did I use?

    I can't wait to talk about this with my daughter the principal.

  3. Mary, Firefox comes with a built-in spellchecker, so I can check my spelling anywhere I use Firefox -- email, blog posts, even comments like this.

    Randy, I think you're okay.

    Thank you both for your comments.


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