I had an interesting conversation with a colleague today. He teaches a non-English related subject and has been having issues with students' grammar. Both of the English teachers (myself and another) are new. The other English teacher started last year and I started this year. We both fully recognize that the students' grammar and spelling is terrible! However, we have been informed by various faculty members that they haven't had much formal grammar. We are catching them up as quickly as we can but it's amazing what they still don't know. I gave them a general pre-assessment of what I thought was basic stuff like how to form possessives, items in a series, etc... and the seniors really struggled with it. The kids are working hard at it but it's unfair to them since they haven't received all the education they should have. My issue is that this other teacher keeps telling me he's taking off for grammar and spelling errors. I fully believe in grading for grammar and spelling when it is a formal writing but I feel it is unfair to judge students on their spelling when it's an in-class assignment that they don't have any time to proofread. Some of our students are terrible spellers and it's not that they are lazy. I've talked to him about it before but he still seems to want to take off for grammar and spelling, even in their journals! I'm especially interested in hearing from those of you who don't teach English. Do you take points off for grammar or spelling? He takes either 1/2 a point or 1 point off for each error. I can't remember which it is at the moment! It's been really bugging me since I feel like he grades harder than the English teachers do!