25 February 2008

Where did education go wrong?

Errors Plague Letters from APS Students

Student protest letters full of errors

The assault on the English language has been a thing going on since long before the internet and instant messengers and text messaging taught teenagers and younger children the very fine art that is shorthand. It started for me in elementary school, something I don't really remember myself, but my mother told me. She told me she was alarmed when my teachers said that it was okay to misspell things in a way of "it's how they feel" or "don't want to hurt the children's feelings". I am not totally certain how things went, but I remember that spelling was one of my most challenging subjects when I was in elementary school. But I worked hard. Throughout my years in school, if I had written as badly as these students did in their letters, I would've failed.

And the schools wonder why they're not meeting the testing standards.

I'm not really a big fan of standardized tests, but I am a big fan of actually teaching students what they need to know. Writing clearly is a very important thing that everyone needs to do in order to get good jobs and even get into good colleges. It baffles me that even at middle school, students are writing so poorly.

If these students are indicative of what is plaguing our public schools, I will not be enrolling any of my offspring in any public school. I remember how hard it was to go through school and get English grammar correct and spelling correct, especially when we really weren't taught proper grammar in grade school. I didn't get a proper grammar class until my final year in college as an elective! But I would never have passed middle school if I wrote like that. If they really want their electives, they need to take those remedial classes. And if that keeps them from going to school, sure it could be the school's fault for not teaching properly, but it's really the student's fault for not really trying.

Thanks to Ahab linking this in his blog

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