Magazine July 27, 2020, Issue

Killing Grammar: Part III of a Three-Part Series

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In the previous two columns, we’ve seen what the standards were in the 1970s for teaching English grammar and usage in the lower and mid-level grades. The author of those guidelines, Robert C. Pooley, wrote under the auspices of the National Council of Teachers of English. That was the last time any national guidelines were issued for what children ought to know about Standard English.

The standards were different for different grade levels. High schools were to continue the “skills and attitudes properly begun in kindergarten” and developed through middle school. Pooley insisted that language development should not be looked upon

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Bryan A. Garner — Mr. Garner is the author of The Chicago Guide to Grammar, Usage, and Punctuation, Garner’s Modern English Usage, and The HBR Guide to Better Business Writing.

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