Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Support Illiteracy: Vote

I have been teaching at Brooklyn College, a campus of the City University of New York, for 16 years. Our students are at the average for college students nationally.  When I first arrived at Brooklyn in 1998, the students' writing was dismal.  I don't think it's unfair to say that the governance of New York City, hence the school system, has largely been that of the Democratic Party.  It is fair, then, to attribute my students' dismal writing to the Democratic Party. A little less than five years after I started, President Bush signed the No Child Left Behind Act.  Eleven or so years later, I can see the effects. The Republicans took a dismal educational system and made it worse.  My students' writing now is so bad that it is virtually unintelligible. Their writing went from semi-literate to illiterate. This is occurring at a time when the desirable jobs are going to those with the best skills. Sending your child to a school that is under the control of Democrats or Republicans is a form of child neglect.

The  saddest thing is to see students who think that they are studying business but lack rudimentary writing skills necessary to pursue a career in business. I have fought to improve the writing program at CUNY for several years, and I have gotten nowhere. The college simply denies the problem.  The students write at the mean, so there is no problem.  The trouble is that the mean American is in for a rough treatment from the global economy.