Anne Jordan was a contributing editor to GOVERNING.E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Saw an interesting front-page New York Times article this morning about states requiring public universities to make sure instructors are proficient in English. As a history/poli sci major at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the 1980s, my sole encounter with this issue was in an elective meteorology course taught by an elderly German professor who lectured about "water wapor."
But for many students majoring in math or physical science (including one I married), the problem was distressingly common among both professors and teaching assistants. Their ability to communicate effectively was hindered not only by limited English-speaking ability but also by the lack of any pedagogical training for those who were occasionally pulled from their research or lab work to "teach" a class.
I don't fault the individuals but rather the institutions, including my alma mater. Back then, it didn't seem that students had any recourse. Perhaps now that is changing.
Written and compiled by staff writers and editors, GOVERNING View is an on-the-ground, and sometimes behind-the-scenes, look at the topics we're covering in print and online. From notes on what's up in statehouses, county courthouses and city halls, to encounters with people, places and things, GOVERNING View is a window into the side of state and local government you don't always see.