The excerpt below is from the October 30 Washington Post. I became interested in the article about how badly Federal Government agencies write because I worked for 34 years for the Federal Government. Each year, just like now, a bunch of folks, politicians, academics, columnists, said the same thing: the government should use “plain language,” and the issue should be addressed immediately. Some politician always threatens legislation to make agencies write clearly so citizens can understand.
I went though training every year on how to write clear and easy to understand letters and other documents. Yet nothing ever changed. And I see that nothing aint changed since I retired back in 1996.
The Education Department is only one of many agencies that dont know how to use plain, easily understandable English.
This is an excerpt from an Education Department regulation that was published in Wednesday’s Federal Register. Read at your peril.
8) Notwithstanding the requirements of paragraphs (c)(6) through (c)(9) of this section, a school is not required to deliver loan proceeds in more than one installment if — (i)(A) The student’s loan period is not more than one semester, one trimester, one quarter, or, for non term-based schools or schools with non-standard terms, 4 months; and (B)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (c)(8)(i)(B)(2) of this section, the school in which the student is enrolled has a cohort default rate, calculated under subpart M of 34 CFR part 668, of less than 10 percent for each of the three most recent fiscal years for which data are available; or (2) For loan disbursements made on or after October 1, 2011, the school in which the student is enrolled has a cohort default rate, calculated under either subpart M or subpart N of 34 CFR part 668 of less than 15 percent for each of the three most recent fiscal years for which data are available; or (ii) The school is an eligible home institution certifying a loan to cover the student’s cost of attendance in a study abroad program and has a cohort default rate, calculated under subpart M or subpart N of 34 CFR part 668, of less than 5 percent for the single most recent fiscal year for which data are available.