So my friend teaches at a charter school. She's certified to teach Science, but because of the way the school is structured, she winds up teaching some English, too. The district eventually learned that kids were receiving instruction from a non-certified English teacher, so they arranged for an "English specialist" to show up part-time at the school to supplement lessons. Though my friend studied English in college and has been teaching reading and writing for years now, she understands the law that forced the change; it just kind of sucks because the money to pay the supplemental instructor must be taken from the charter school's already limited budget.
Here's the kicker, though: the English specialist the district has provided is only questionably literate herself. Here is the honest-to-gosh assignment she gave to my friend's students to do in conjunction with the Holocaust memoir Night:
What kind of English teacher doesn't use punctuation? What kind of English teacher doesn't write out the word "you"? What kind of English teacher uses the wrong type of "there" incorrectly twice in one sentence?
As much as I am laughing at things like "arty project", "paper mashie", and her botched cut and paste job that repeats part of the assignment a second time, this is actually tragic. In what world is my friend not qualified to teach English while this woman (who has had her job for over 15 years, mind you) is considered a "specialist"? I like her claim that she will take "of" [sic] points for spelling and grammar errors, as if she has any idea what those are.
Granted, when I was a high school English teacher, the essay I assigned in conjunction with the book Night resulted in at least one epically awful student paper. That's still not a good excuse for someone brought in specifically to teach writing to arbitrarily assign an art project rather than an essay. The public education system is fucked. It is so so so so fucked.