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Letter: Many lack the basics in English and math

Many lack the basics in English and math

I read the Another Voice by the Rev. Edward Jackson Jr. in the July 29 News with both admiration and dismay. It was titled, “We must have a dialogue about education in Buffalo,” and, of course, I agreed with most of what he wrote. However, I don’t think he went far enough.

He pointed out that nine in 10 black or Hispanic children are not proficient in reading and math in Buffalo. And while I’m sure that is true, I wish he would have elaborated more by stating the obvious: This is not only true of black or Hispanic children, and it is not only true of those educated in Buffalo, but sadly seems to be true of all nationalities nationwide.

I have a relative who is in her fourth year of college, and she posted a blurb on Facebook in which she used “there” instead of “their” two times. I have noted Facebook followers who have used “to” instead of “too” over and over again. These are fundamental bits of English that I learned in grammar and high school in the ’40s and ’50s.

In another instance, I bought $2.81 worth of goods. The girl rang it up on the register and subtracted that from the $3 I had given her. I then gave her a penny in hopes of cutting down on my change, and she stared at me with mouth agape. I might as well have asked her to describe the theory of relativity.

Yes, I know that if I were given an electronic device along with these people, they would have a long text submitted while I was still trying to figure out how to open it, so don’t think I’m criticizing their mental capacity. I’m only pointing out where our educational system is failing. Young people enter the realm of genius when it comes to electronics, but lack much of the basics in English and math. Surely we can, and should, do something about that.

Marge McMillen

East Amherst

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