No kidding. Arizona superintendent Tom Horne is on the lookout for teachers who pronounce "comma" as "COH-ma."
Late last month, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Arizona Department of Education “recently began telling school districts that teachers whose spoken English it deems to be heavily accented or ungrammatical must be removed from classes for students still learning English”:
State education officials say the move is intended to ensure that students with limited English have teachers who speak the language flawlessly. But some school principals and administrators say the department is imposing arbitrary fluency standards that could undermine students by thinning the ranks of experienced educators. […]
“This is just one more indication of the incredible anti-immigrant sentiment in the state,” said Bruce Merrill, a professor emeritus at Arizona State University who conducts public-opinion research.
At one school, for example, state auditors complained that teachers pronounced “words such as violet as ‘biolet,’ think as ‘tink’ and swallow the ending sounds of words, as they sometimes do in Spanish.” The principal at that school acknowledged that teachers “should speak grammatically correct English” but said they shouldn’t be punished for having an accent.
The man in charge of this project, far-right Arizona superintendent Tom Horne — who is running for attorney general — has been going on national media in recent days to defend his policies.
What would he do if he wandered into a Latin Mass? Arrest the priest?