To the editor:
Let's hope that the Lawrence school board member quoted in the story about how "Several Lawrence schools achieved excellence last year in the state's eyes" did not mean to use the word "irregardless."
American Heritage Dictionary - ir*re*gard*less, adv. Nonstandard Regardless.
"Irregardless" is a word that many mistakenly believe to be correct usage in formal style, when in fact it is used chiefly in nonstandard speech or casual writing. It has met with a blizzard of condemnation for being an improper yoking of "irrespective" and "regardless" and for the logical absurdity of combining the negative ir- prefix and -less suffix in a single term. It has been considered a blunder for decades and will probably continue to be so.
Let's hope, also, that the Lawrence school board does not sanction "teaching to the test" in order to raise the state's national ranking on standardized testing as a southeastern state, where I lived for almost 15 years, did. Our children are the losers if that is the case. They are the winners if teachers have been trained to teach properly the subject(s) in which they have expertise.
Barbara M. Paris,