Americana: Back to Basics

Test results have shown that one-third of the freshmen at state colleges in New Jersey are almost illiterate. So the state senate passed a bill requiring all public high school students to demonstrate at least a ninth-grade level of proficiency in reading, writing and arithmetic before qualifying for a state-approved diploma. Then Senator Francis X. Herbert, who doubles as a high school English teacher, discovered that the senators could also use some drill in the fundamentals. The bill misspelled explicit as explict, minimum as minmum and remediation as remediaton. Conceded Sponsor Matthew Feldman: "Sure, it's embarrassing. I never read the bill...

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