Saturday, April 13, 2002

One Bicycle Please, No Rind

The superlative standards the city of Washington, D.C. has come to expect from its public school system have been reinforced yet again. In an effort to help students prepare for upcoming standardized tests, the District sent elementary school kids home with a 20-page study guide that included such passages of questionable grammatical quality as "learning to rind a bicycle," "Pur the ginger ale into the glasses," and "it should be called the President' House."

The man apparently responsible for this display of illiteracy, DC school official Duvon Winborne, had these reassuring words to say to those concerned: "Most of the children throw these things away, so it's not really a major problem in terms of outcomes." Thank God. If the kids could be expected to actually read the study materials you gave then, then we'd really be in trouble.

This is, of course, not the first time that the DC Public Schools have had trouble finding the right words. Metro buses last year carried the motivating phrase "DC Public Schools Wants You!!! Go To Class -- It' a Blast!!!" I'm not sure which is more disturbing - the fact that they can't get their verbs and subjects to agree or the fact that the DC government feels the need to advertise the virtues of an institution at which attendance is compulsory.

By the way, Duvon Winboune is the "Executive Director of Education Accountability" for the D.C. Public Schools. You can contact him at 202-442-5562.

No comments: