From Alternative Histories of English, “Good and Bad English in the United States”, Dennis B. Preston, p. 147.
“The repercussion of such belief [only recalcitrance keeps children from using correct English] is that in educational environments in the USA, children are punished (in some form or another) for speaking the language they brought to school with them, but, except in a very few instances, no careful and systematic plan for instructing NUSE-speaking children in an alternative variety is in place in the United States. [NUSE = nonstandard U.S. English]. [italics in the original]
Here’s an attitude toward Black English in particular, sent in to a listserv for fl teachers:
“I can ignore you most of the time, Pat. But when you set up your rural, black, inner-city, blah blah blah patois straw man and then knock him down when anyone on the list ever suggests that knowing “PROPER” language for the particular situation in question is appropriate, it really chaps my backside. I’ve seen you accuse people left handedly of all kinds of racism and classism over the years for the work that they do.”
This person offered no example of my doing any of these things. What you see here is the same old reaction every time you challenge these people: “Oh? You don’t condemn whole heartedly the speech I look down on? Then you must be in favor of everyone talking that way.” This person is not the only one who has responded to attempts to set the record straight on how we can teach children standard English by claiming those who want to introduce effective methods, i.e. change, are actually in favor of teaching the non-standard form. It is bizarre, but this one went much further than most in revealing his attitudes toward Black speech and toward any attempt to have the speech of non-standard speakers respected and worked with in order to teach the standard.