What makes Arizona the #1 state in the union? It's the little things—sex temples, gun raffles, armed lawmakers—and its recently-retired policy of "sending monitors to classrooms across the state to check on teachers' articulation."
Yes, that's right, the state of Arizona used to send people to schools to make sure the teachers didn't sound Messican—until the so-called "Justice" Department decided to investigate over "civil rights violations." But is it really a "civil right"... to speak English as your second language?
State education officials say that accents were never the focus of their monitoring. "It was a repeated pattern of misuse of the language or mispronunciation of the language that we were looking for," said Andrew LeFevre, a spokesman for the State Department of Education. "It's critically important that teachers act as models when it comes to language."
But the federal review found that the state had written up teachers for pronouncing "the" as "da," "another" as "anuder" and "lives here" as "leeves here."
In one school district, an "accent reduction specialist" was brought in to help teachers. Because, you know, we wouldn't want students to get any kind of experience learning how to understand thickly-accented English. That would only encourage them to talk to foreigners!
[NYT, image of Arizona School Superintendent John Huppenthal and Governor Jan Brewer via AP]