Originally Posted by KYHeirloomer
Quick test for public school attendees only: Did you ever really learn to parse a sentance---or even know what that means?
I'm a proud graduate of a public high school (in Louisiana, no less). Stereotypes would say I'm terrible with grammar. While I'm nowhere near a linguistic expert, I think my abilities are on par with most other equally educated individuals. To your question: yes. I can still remember breaking down sentences and drawing diagrams to identify parts of speech, determine the correct usage of modifiers, etc. However, I think the education I received was far better than what some receive in public schools.
However, if we want to get into the "plight of the education system" debate, I believe we first have to turn to the parents before looking at the schools themselves. Even in the schools that I went to -- which I feel are well above average, particularly for the deep south -- there were plenty of students that simply didn't learn some fundamentals of English, mathematics, etc. So what is the difference between one of those other students and myself? All I can deduce is the level of parenting and motivation. Both of my parents have baccalaureate degrees, and one parent has a master's degree in special education. Needless to say, my parents understand the value of a good education, and therefore pushed me to learn all that I could in school. Expectations were high, and so were the consequences for bad grades. If we really want to fix the education system in the United States, we have to start with the parents of the children that are attending public schools.
I shall step down from my soap box now...