As a community college teacher, I am absolutely frustrated and mystified at the lack of basic grammar and English skills these kids possess. What are they learning in high school? The sad part is that I have many students who want to become high school English Teachers themselves but can't even identify dangling modifiers or tell me the difference between colons and semicolons. It's appalling to think that they will be perpetuating this cycle--teachers who don't know grammar NOT bothering to teach it to their students because they don't know it in the first place.
I've given up teaching them what they should have learned in high school when they were probably wasting time doing group projects or watching movies based on books. It's not their fault. I blame the teachers. Unless we make grammar a mandatory element of high school English classes--and force the teachers to learn it in the first place--the level of proper English usage will continue to slip-slide away. I shouldn't have to waste my college class time explaining the elements of a complete sentence. (How on earth are they even graduating in the first place?) I make them buy this book, which I feel is the best handbook available, and pray that they will have the initiative to use it.