Skip to comments.Illinois erases state's last writing exam
Posted on 07/06/2011 7:07:40 AM PDT by KeyLargo
Illinois erases state's last writing exam 11th-graders will no longer take the test saving state $2.4 million
By Tara Malone, Tribune reporter
July 6, 2011
Illinois high school juniors no longer will be tested on writing skills during the state's standardized tests every spring, eliminating the last Illinois writing exam and shaving about $2.4 million amid budgetary shortfalls.
While students might welcome being spared the sweating over topic sentences and persuasive verbs, many educators worry the essential skill could get short shrift in Illinois classrooms as a result.
(Excerpt) Read more at chicagotribune.com ...
The 11th grade might be a bit too late to test for writing skills...
“Illinois erases state’s last writing exam 11th-graders will no longer take the test saving state $2.4 million”
And costing Illinois in 2024 billions.
More likely Gay and Pan-Gender studies.
Their children do not need to be able to write well these days. Obama will guarantee them jobs even if they have no skills.
And the dupes in Illinois will believe it.
It was a long time ago and my memory isn’t perfect but I cannot remember any “true/false” or “multiple choice”, type tests in my small town, Missouri, high school, 1959-1963.
I do remember lots and lots of essay type Q & A. (And proper spelling was required).
Ah yes, the “Americans With No Abilities Act”.
I think people forget that life in the ghetto’s don’t require reading and writing. It only requires education in theft and murders and welfare.
The Daily Caller
Obamas 454 aides will make $37,121,463 this year
By Andrew Malcolm 07/05/2011
In his numerous fund-raising and policy speeches around the country these days, President Obama often bemoans the difficult economic times and uncertainties afflicting millions of Americans, including the nearly 14 million still seeking work unsuccessfully.
The Democrat argues that his administration needs more time to straighten out the economic mess left by somebody else, whos been gone almost 900 days now.
But good news this morning: The challenging Obama era and 9.1% national unemployment rate do not include the 454 people now helping President Obama do presidential things.
This crowd is being paid a total of $37,121,463 this year. Thats up seven staff members and nearly $4 million from 2008, the last year of George W. Bushs presidency.
Writing Skills: More Important Than Ever on the Job
by Katharine Hansen, Ph.D.
Be sure to read our main career/job skills article, How to Capitalize on the Looming Skills Shortage.
In 1997, while writing the book Write Your Way to a Higher GPA, Dr. Randall Hansen and I cited several studies about not only the importance of writing skills, but about how too many workers, especially at the entry level, lack these skills. [See: The Importance of Good Writing Skills.] More than a decade later, little has changed except that writing has become even more important.
Given the relative informality of e-mail, it may surprise some to know that e-mail’s ubiquity is a major reason writing skills have become so crucial. E-mail is so heavily and globally used to communicate in the workplace — replacing the telephone as the primary communications venue — that unclear, garbled, poorly written e-mails waste time, money, and productivity. R. Craig Hogan, who runs an online school for business writing, said in 2004 that “e-mail is a party to which English teachers have not been invited ... People just let their thoughts drool out onto the screen.”
Another impetus for better writing skills is that demand is greater; two-thirds of salaried workers in large U.S. companies have jobs that require writing, reported the College Board’s National Commission on Writing in 2004, and bringing workers’ skills up to speed requires $3.1 billion annually in training. The study described writing as a “threshold skill” for employee selection and promotion. Columnist Andrea Kay adds that professionals spend up to 30 percent of their days — more than two hours daily — writing.
They could save a lot more by closing the schools
I’m a business process analyst - impossible without writing skills. Mrs. jimfree is a historian and program director for a house museum. Even my brother as a Pepsi tech for a couple decades had to write up justifications for repairs and replacements and had to document what he did on a call.
Though some deny it writing is everywhere.
Gee, just think of the savings they could realize if they did away with all their tests.
Good writing exemplifies higher cognitive functioning. The ability to reason is anathema to leftist indoctrination. The last thing that leftists want is young people learning to think and analyze.
Gee, just think of the savings they could realize if they did away with all their tests.Not to mention the stress on teachers. Just think how hard they have to work actually teaching something. Screw that! Let's turn the schools into a Free Party Zone and turn up the music and Dance The Day Away! Free pot and rap music for all! (But no sugared soda! Heaven forbid! No sugared soda!)
It wasn’t working anyway. That’s why there are judges who say “Apparently my orders don’t amount to a hill of a bean”.
They are not going to replace it with anything. The point is that the schools in Chicago, and therefore Illinois, are run for the teachers’ union and the vendors with sweetheart deals. By removing this wsriting test they are removing yet another way to monitor the abilities of the teachers, as well as a more objective way to determine which schools are the worst for their students.
By removing the test, the school establishment has removed pressure to remove certain teachers and close certain schools. This is a diminution of transparency so corruption and hidden agendas can run further amok.
Interesting that we all agree we should test for writing, but paying a living wage to hire teachers that can teach writing is anathema. Oh wait, I forget, one is “Standards Based Education” and the other is “Caving in to greedy teacher’s unions”.
I find it difficult enough to get the resources to teach writing, and yes, talking about writing simple comp and rhetoric, not “social studies” or “multi-cultural studies”. Believe it or not, most teachers actually want to teach and for their students to do well.
Flip side of this, a writing test has to be graded. This generally costs a lot, and is inefficient. I’ve graded AP English tests, for instance, for several years. It generally involves, as ETS couldn’t and shouldn’t afford to hire people year round just to be there when the tests come in, a group of educators, usually put up in a hotel for about two weeks. There are a couple of days of training as to standards, and then you work a twelve hour day, generally spending 10-15 minutes on each essay. You have no idea who the students are, their skill level, etc.. you look for specifically identifiable points, i.e. is there a topic sentence, are there three pieces of supporting evidence, is there a conclusion statement, and check them off a list.
For what it costs to administer and grade these standardized tests, and the quality of grading that occurs when you have to grade large amounts of them cheaply and quickly, I would say you are not doing anyone any favors by testing. It would be better to put the money into teacher training, monitoring less experienced teachers and mentoring them, and attracting more people to teach as a profession.
Testing makes for a great sound bite, and was central to No Child Left Behind. It is also excellent for the testing companies, who make good money from it. Heck it is good for me, every summer I can spend three weeks in Florida, two weeks grading and a week on the beach. It isn’t teaching, though.
I don’t agree with tenure and union seniority, but I sincerely feel it is better to put money into better teaching, than testing.
And I’m going to be again demonized for saying this. There is a lot of anti-teacher sentiment on this board, to the point where I usually don’t say I am one. In this situation? On behalf of Writing Teachers, if you give us a living wage, curriculum support, and the benefits commensurate with any corporate job, I’ll leave college teaching and go back to high school English in a second. The years I spent there were the most satisfying of my life.
A little secret, or not so secret, there is a reason why there aren’t many conservatives in education. We don’t compensate teachers for the work they do. Evidence for that? I’m not teaching anymore at the HS level, which is what I loved and enjoyed. But with that skill set, I can get better employment elsewhere. Free Market, friends. Why should I get paid less to benefit your kids? No reason I can think of.
The people who are willing to put up with the institutional B.S., take a wage cut, and be in the system are generally idealists, a.k.a. liberals.
Its a churning environment too, people stay for two, three years and are gone. Amins are the ones who have survived the process they exemplify the adage, “those who can’t teach, administer other teachers”.
When I grew up, teachers were respected professionals. That isn’t the case now, so test all you want, if you don’t have people teaching, really teaching, testing won’t do you any good. I can give you a standardized test every day about playing the piano, and grade you, and expect improvement. That isn’t likely the best way to learn to play the piano.
There are solutions, charter schools, removing union seniority, etc.. But here’s a hint, if we make teaching the last refuge of the incompetent, and are happy about it, we get incompetent teachers.
So, yeah, take some money from a testing program that probably didn’t have any useful effect anyway, and put it back into education. I’m for it, and don’t see it as a erosion of standards.