NEW YORK (CBS 2) — The principal at a middle school in Brooklyn has come under fire not for his policy, but for his writing and spelling skills.
Parents of sixth, seventh and eighth graders at the Middle School for Art and Philosophy are concerned about an e-mail written to teachers. It was written by the principal, Andrew Buck, and displayed a disjointed and stilted style riddled with errors in grammar and spelling.
“I don’t get how an educated person, a teacher, an educator, can write a memo like that,” Richard Mantell, of the United Federation of Teachers, said. “’Text books,’ two different words?”
The UFT is concerned, as is a teacher of eighth grade language arts.
“Atrocious, outrageous. I don’t know where to begin,” teacher Debra McLain said.
McLain read the following passages – copied verbatim – from the e-mail, in which Buck defended his position against providing textbooks.
“My real question, simply put is why have text books at all?”
“Text books are the soup de jour, the sine qua non, the nut and bolts of teaching and learning in high school and college so to speak.”
“First, just because student have a text book, doesn’t means she or she will be able to read it.”
He further wrote, “Additionally, students can’t use a text book to learn how to learn from a textbook.”
“The grammar is horrendous, his tenses are all screwed up,” Mantell said. “I think he has a French term, he even spells that wrong, doesn’t use that properly.”
The union that represents principals, the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators, released the following statement: “All of us write e-mails that are sloppy with misspellings. He should have proofread it before sending. However, we plan to see that he receives due process.”
When trying to reach the principal for comment, CBS 2 was told he was unavailable.
The United Federation of Teachers says that in a survey of Brooklyn schools two years ago, Buck was found to be the school leader least trusted by his teachers.