Literacy Evolution

Otis Mathis is President of the Detroit School Board. In 2010, he sent the following two emails as part of his duties:

“If you saw Sunday’s Free Press that shown Robert Bobb the emergency financial manager for Detroit Public Schools, move Mark Twain to Boynton which have three times the number seats then students and was one of the reason’s he gave for closing school to many empty seats.”

“Do DPS control the Foundation or outside group? If an outside group control the foundation, then what is DPS B0ard row with selection of is director? Our we mixing DPS and None DPS row’s, and who is the watch dog?”

(For the record, those are verbatim transcripts and,┬áno, this guy was not speaking a foreign language – he’s English-speaking.)

President Mathis is a college graduate with a degree from Wayne State. He did have a spot of bother with the English proficiency requirement of the college, so he sued the college into dropping the requirement.

Here’s a letter from a domestic servant named Mary Anne Nichols, written to her father in 1888 before she became Jack the Ripper’s first victim:

“I just write to say you will be glad to know that I am settled in my new place, and going on all right up to now…It is a grand place inside, with trees and garden back and front. All has been newly done up. They are teetotalers, and religious, so I ought to get on…”

Mary Anne Nichols was born in 1845, a quarter-century before universal elementary schooling became law. She was uneducated, in and out of workhouses and caught up in prostitution.

Who would you rather:

1) Receive a letter from?

2) Have supervise the education of your children?

(For many more stories of inmates supervising institutions, refer to Mark Steyn’s After America: Get Ready for Amageddon. Be sure to brace yourself, though.)

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