An article in today’s edition of the Arizona Republic indicates that the government is slowly getting around to fixing some of the damage done when Governor Brewer signed what have been called the ‘Breathing While Brown’ acts into law. If you’re unfamiliar with the laws and what they are meant to do, Randall Amster of t r u t h o u t provides a summary of the whole mess here.
It was HB 2281 which raised the issue of ‘teachers with accents.’ And now the feds have finally made Arizona step back. But they are loathe to give up their gatekeeping ways (from the Pat Kossen article at the AR):
Despite the agreement to drop fluency from the form, John Huppenthal, Arizona superintendent of public instruction, said his office will continue to instruct state monitors to talk to districts about individual teachers whose English pronunciation or grammar is flawed.
“We still are going to be conscious of these articulation issues,” Huppenthal said. “Students should be in a class where teachers can articulate.”
Over the years I have had the usual share of mediocre teachers.; the few who mumbled and failed to speak clearly were, as far as I remember, native speakers of English.
Of course I wrote about this in the new edition of English with an Accent, and now that information will be out of date. So it goes with the word in print.
If you’re looking for somebody to boo and hiss at, pay attention to Tom Horne, who got the whole xenophobic happy dance going as a way to shut down ethnic studies programs in
Tucson schools where Mexican American students were rude to him.