The head teacher of a school in New York is facing calls to resign after he sent out an error-strewn letter claiming that children did not need books, while he also recommended Wikipedia.
Andrew Buck, the principal of The Middle School for Art and Philosophy, Brooklyn, wrote to his teachers to defend the school’s policy of not providing textbooks, which had been criticised by some parents.
His memo contained so many spelling mistakes, grammatical errors and non-sequiturs that a concerned member of staff passed it on to parents, who began handing out copies at the school gates.
Mr Buck, who is paid $130,000 (£83,000) a year, wrote: “Text books are the soup de jour, the *sine qua non*, the nut and bolts of teaching and learning in high school and college so to speak.” However, he added, “just because student have a text book, doesn’t mean she or she will be able to read it Additionally students can’t use a text book to learn how to learn from a textbook.
“Are text books necessary? No. Are text books important? Yes. Can a teacher sufficiently teach a course without them? Yes, but conditionally.”