Sunday, July 18, 2010
Writing Ain't Beanbag
Test them in math and science. Test them in reading. Who cares if they can write.
Illinois students won't have to take a writing exam that was originally put in place to measure educational progress in grades three, five, six and eight.
Everyone's texting anyway. Why find out if the kids can write?
The Illinois Sate Board of Education has figured out that if they eliminate the test, they can save a few million dollars and it's all about cutting the budget. Okay, it's all about cutting the budget in places where voters won't notice the pain come election day.
It's not as if the Feds require the test. If it wasn't for some universities requiring it, the eleventh grade test could be eliminated as well, at a cost savings that wouldn't upset voters who don't realize how important writing skills are.
By fifth grade, the writing skills of Illinois pupils have tanked, so why test the students and give the voting parents evidence of the disaster that is public education. That adds to the "throw the bums out" mentality, and for the bums, they like their jobs thanks very much.
Why bother to teach writing if there's no test for it? Aren't the teachers supposed to teach to the test so the scores look good and the politicians can get re-elected?
The kids aren't learning how to write, which means their reading skills are being hurt as well. They'll come out of the primary grades with limited communication skills, and when they head off to college, they won't get into the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign because they'll be competing against kids from outside Illinois who were taught how to write.
And all those out-of-state kids pay a much higher tuition which helps plug the holes in the budget that the politicians created through mismanagement and outright fraud.
To paraphrase "Bathhouse John" Coughlin, writing ain't beanbag.