President of Detroit Public Skoolz Kant Rite Veri GoodeSaturday, March 13, 2010
Detroit school board chief Otis Mathis admits to a “grammar problem.” When some of his emails (consisting of 3rd-grade level grammar) got out in the public, the local media nicely jumped on it. From Laura Berman’s column:
He also acknowledges he has difficulty composing a coherent English sentence. Here’s a sample from an e-mail he sent to friends and supporters on Sunday night, uncorrected for errors of spelling, grammar, punctuation and usage. It begins:
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.
It turns out he couldn’t even pass an English proficiency exam required to graduate from college. Here’s another one of his emails:
Do DPS control the Foundation or outside group? If an outside group control the foundation, then what is DPS Board row with selection of is director? Our we mixing DPS and None DPS row’s, and who is the watch dog?
He graduated from a Detroit high school with “a 1.8 grade-point average but was previously reported as a .98 average.” He used to be a substitute teacher. He calls himself a role model. But, in his defense …..
Dare I defend him, but anyone who works in a large corporate environment such as I do sees emails far worse than those above on a daily/hourly basis. Horrifying, incomprehensible emails all day long – even from managers, senior directors, and the like. For years this has baffled me. And before that I tutored college students (most of them from grad programs) in Business Communications. That was a major eye opener for me. For example, I was tutoring senior managers from Chrysler, GM, Ford, etc. who were in business school to get their grad degrees (mostly MBAs) for job advancement.
So the only difference is that Mr. Mathis actually leads those who teach at the lowest performing public schools in the nation.