I can get on my high horse to look down at young Bartholomae, but it's not so simple. Part of the problem with teaching is knowing where to start. If you assume your students already have the background, you simply prompt them and judge them. Rich, on the other hand, thought she knew what she was getting into and was more prepared to coax her students. But she still had to make certain assumptions about where they were starting from. Her assumptions were undoubtedly simplistic, and possibly condescending.
There's really no way to know exactly what you're getting into--to know when students only need reminded that they're mixing "it's" and "its" and when they don't know the difference (or have internalized an incorrect system).
Bartholomae, David. "The Tidy House: Basic Writing in the American Curriculum." 1993. Landmark Essays on Basic Writing. Ed. Kay Halasek and Nels P. Highberg. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc., 2001. 171-184.
Rich, Adrienne. "Teaching Language in Open Admissions." 1973. Landmark Essays on Basic Writing. Ed. Kay Halasek and Nels P. Highberg. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc., 2001. 1-13.