Ybarra gets a schooling in grammar

State superintendent Sherri Ybarra’s recent op-ed is getting wide circulation. But not necessarily for all the right reasons.

Ybarra presser, 1.6.15
Sherri Ybarra

At the Inlander, a Spokane, Wash.-based alternative weekly, Daniel Walters took Idaho’s schools chief to task for sending out a guest opinion replete with unnecessary commas and other grammatical errors.

Writes Walters: “Where some may see her opinion essay as an indictment of Idaho’s educational system, I see an opportunity. This is a perfect exercise for high school English teachers across Idaho to give their students: Edit the state superintendent’s essay. Fix punctuation errors. Rewrite clunky sentences.”

An extensive copy editing exercise ensues. Click here to read it.

Writing about this at all, of course, invites all kinds of bad grammar karma. As Walters notes, “We all need copy editors. Even journalists. Especially journalists.” I’d be the first person to agree with that.

For the record, Idaho Education News chose to publish Ybarra’s guest opinion in full — and in the form that it was submitted to multiple news organizations.

Kevin Richert

About Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on KIVI 6 On Your Side; "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television; and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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