Manhattan’s Murry Bergtraum High School for Business Careers certainly thought it had the last laugh on its critics. The school, which allowed failing students to get full course credit without attending class, sought to prove the success of its methods. An administrator urged students to take part in a letter-writing campaign attacking the New York Post, which had blown the whistle on its ill-conceived “blended learning” program.
The graphic below provides a cross-section of the missives received, any of which would receive an F from any teacher worth his salt. Name a grammar or style mistake, and Murry Bergtraum’s got it — from run-on sentences to misspellings to improper punctuation to lack of subject-verb agreement. Some of the errors committed appear to firsts in the butchery of English syntax.
Consider this gem: “Us as New York City Students deserve respect and encouragement.” Sorry, but us finds it difficult to respect or encourage anyone who uses the objective form of the pronoun in the subject position.
See how many mistakes you can pick up in this excerpt of a letter, written by a junior:
What do you get of giving false accusations im one of the students that has blended learning I had a course of English and I passed and and it helped a lot you’re a reported your support to get truth information other than starting rumors…
To deeply criticize a program that has helped many students especially seniors to graduate I should not see no complaints.
The Post quotes a teacher at the school as saying, “I am embarrassed that the school will graduate students who write this poorly.”
But it would seem the onus for this travesty is on the teachers and administrators themselves. They were the ones who dreamed up this ingenious plan whereby students could watch video lessons in place of coming to class and take tests online. The Post cites a social-studies teacher had a roster of 475 students.
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