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Generalizing about U.S. education (was: Subject / Object / ?)

From:John Cowan <cowan@...>
Date:Monday, September 13, 2004, 10:35
Isaac A. Penzev scripsit:

> > In the United States, the education establishment in the > > public schools (i.e. primary and secondary schools) considers > > it old-fashioned to teach grammatical concepts such as > > subject and object and how to analyse a sentence. > > Wow! I didn't know the thing were *SO* bad in the States :((((
As I've said many times before: The U.S. doesn't have a single national curriculum. It doesn't even have fifty statewide curricula. Education is locally controlled, with a *very few* national rules imposed as a side effect of making funds available or by courts. (There are a few states that do impose statewide curricula, but even so there is usually some flexibility.) Local control is in the hands of school boards almost everywhere (NYC has recently become one of the few exceptions), who are elected non-professionals. Furthermore, curricula are being changed constantly. Consequently, people who claim that "U.S. schools" do or don't do this, that, or the other are *always* generalizing from extremely limited evidence, frequently personal experience. (This includes me.) There is a public high school right here in New York City where every student is taught Latin and Classical Greek, for Ghu's sake. -- "You're a brave man! Go and break through the John Cowan lines, and remember while you're out there risking life and limb through shot and shell, we'll be in here thinking what a sucker you are!" --Rufus T. Firefly


Isaac A. Penzev <isaacp@...>