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Needed: Students’ Writing Skills

A report this week said students need better writing skills. Students in the 8th and 12th grades were tested.A story this week told of students needing better writing skills.

It makes sense, even without knowing what students’ writing skills are like.

The ability to put a coherent sentence together seems to me to be one of those things that can only do good, much the same as the ability to read.

I remember writing a lot in school, both in public school and in college. I’ve already told about how bad my handwriting was and is, so I’m guessing my teachers were happy when we learned to type and I started using a typewriter.

But the Associated Press story went like this:

AP Education Writer
Just a quarter of eighth and 12th grade students in the United States have solid writing skills, even when allowed to use spell-check and other computer word processing tools.

That’s according to results from the 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress in writing released Friday.

Twenty-four percent of students at each grade level were able to write essays that were well developed, organized and had proper language and grammar. Three percent scored as advanced. The remainder showed just partial mastery of these skills.

Students were given the test by computer for the first time in the nearly four decades the test has been administered. Laptops were brought into public and private schools across the country to gain a nationally representative sample. The results weren’t comparable to previous years.

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