Subliterate superintendent

Wilfredo Laboy, superintendent of Lowell, Mass. schools, has flunked the state literacy test. He’s flunked three times.

“What brought me down was the rules of grammar and punctuation,” Laboy said. “English being a second language for me, I didn’t do well in writing. If you’re not an English teacher, you don’t look at the rules on a regular basis.”

It should be “were” in the first sentence.

Laboy, who receives a 3 percent pay hike this month that will raise his salary to $156,560, recently put 24 teachers on unpaid administrative leave because they failed a basic English test.

State law requires all teachers, principals and superintendents to pass the literacy test, but doesn’t specify how many chances Laboy has to pass.

I’m sympathetic with a guy who speaks English as a second language and makes a few mistakes, but I also know these tests tend to be very basic. I find it hard to believe he couldn’t pass on the second or third try, if not the first.

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