ELA is an acronym for "English Language Arts", a subject that is mandatory for elementary school students in America. I'm not quite sure why the subject's name was changed from say, "English", which encompasses just about the same amount of material as I define it, but apparently someone in those mythical upper echelons of education thought my opinion as a little elementary school boy was not quite glorious enough to challenge their godly wisdom. Not that it matters. Sometime around 6th grade, all students have to take a standardized test on the ELAs, that apparently gauges our ability to communicate by our ability to fill in small bubbles instead of, you know, actually communicating. This has created several generations of students who can actually read quite well, but function poorly when they must construct a message around their own ideas.

That said, the system doesn't totally fail at improving the grammar of their students- they just fail to encourage it beyond the basics. More often than not, students are afraid to write in a way that defies what has worked for them for so many years- the par for the course, generally mediocre, plodding statements that are characteristic of so many papers. After a while you begin to see patterns, where students just fill in the different words in the same structure over and over and over again.
For example: "In the play Macbeth by William Shakespeare and 1984 by George Orwell, women model the role of women"

What he originally meant was something along the lines of "Female characters, such as Lady Macbeth play their roles with guile and cunning, using their femininity to their advantage to further their own ambitious goals."

One begins to see the problem with setting the bar very, very low.

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