Remedial reading program causing ruckus in Nashville - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Bill Lunn

Remedial reading program causing ruckus in Nashville

Sip it to the rim, tap your lip and taxicab drivers are hackmen. These are just a few phrases that have some Nashville teachers complaining about "Language Exclamation Mark," a remedial reading program that some teachers say is full of strange words and phrases, and even contains suggestive and mean-spirited slang. Ann Zimmerman says the program is so pathetic she would rather be fired than teach it. "I can not ethically teach this." But Stephanie Craft who teaches "Language Exclamation Mark" says the program makes a difference. "I can see an improvement in their reading other subjects as well."

But what about the language it teaches, American slang, like "bump off," to casually kill somebody or "get off on," to get excited or stimulated by someone or something. That's language many parents don't want their children learning. Parent Charley Holcomb said, "I don't want my daughter saying bump off to me or anybody else. And get off on..that's too erotic for my daughter."

So could parents of Shelby County students find these kind of books being used to teach their children? Brenda Coppedge with the Shelby County Board of Education doesn't think so. Brenda Coppedge, Instructional Supervisor said, "Through our knowledge the process that we go through allows us to have appropriate books for our children because of the number of people that do view them." And if parents do have a problem with a book, there is a form they can fill out to alert school officials what's concerning them.

Another measure is to make sure only appropriate books are used to teach your children. Shelby County teachers vote on which books they want to use from a list that is approved by the state text book committee. After that vote, the Shelby County School Board has to approve the books the teachers picked.

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