LINGUIST List 8.1398

Wed Oct 1 1997

Disc: School Grammar

Editor for this issue: Martin Jacobsen <>


  1. MILLSCUCENGLISH.MCM.UC.EDU>, Re: 8.1330, Sum: School Grammar

Message 1: Re: 8.1330, Sum: School Grammar

Date: Fri, 26 Sep 1997 9:43:12 EST
Subject: Re: 8.1330, Sum: School Grammar

Regarding your recent post on grammar in school curricula, I was
tempted to reply but did not do so because your query was linked to
national and regional curricula. As you are no doubt aware, the US
has no national curriculum in any subject. Nor is there anything like
a regional curriculum.

Instead, states have the authority for setting curricula, and local
school boards, because nearly all public schools (in the US sense of
"public") are funded mainly by local property taxes, exercise a great
deal of control over curricula. "Balkanized" does not adequately
describe the curricular situation in the US.

On the other hand, a few large textbook publishers tend to have great
control over what is taught in all American schools. And because
American publishers are strongly market driven, decisions by state
school boards in a few big states, e.g. California and Texas, tend to
determine what gets taught.

Based solely on my observation of my own 2 daughters' "education," I
would say that sentence analysis is taught. But it tends to be quite
unenlightened traditional grammar (though not quite prescriptive
grammar in most cases that I am aware of).

Does this muddy things sufficiently?

Carl Mills
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