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Sentence Diagramming Makes a Comeback
[FINAL Edition]
The Washington Post - Washington, D.C.
Date: Feb 9, 2002
Start Page: A.26
Section: EDITORIAL

Kudos to Gaithersburg High School English teacher Robyn Jackson and all of her colleagues for their efforts to teach sentence diagramming ["Putting Grammar Lessons on the Line; Students' Writing Problems Prompt Some Teachers to Dust Off Sentence-Diagramming Method," Metro, Feb. 3].

When I was an eighth-grader I found diagramming to be fun, much like working a crossword puzzle. Coincidentally, the same edition of The Post featured a letter from a high school football coach, Mike Foristiere, to Ann Landers. He quoted the head of the English department of Erasmus High School in Brooklyn: "Football may be the best taught subject in American high schools because it is the only subject we haven't tried to make easy."

We read the Metro article about the return to sentence diagramming with both amusement and horror. Only in education can teachers get away with resorting to the allegedly golden past because they choose not to seek abundant, relevant and meaningful research in their fields. It's like doctors going back to leeches because they haven't found a cure for cancer.

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