Skip to comments.Why can't Florida's students write?
Posted on 05/29/2012 7:18:20 AM PDT by SmileRight
When the passing rate for students taking the writing FCAT dropped to 30 percent this year, compared to 80 percent last year, the Florida Board of Education addressed the problem with typical aplomb: It changed the grading scale.
Like magic, failure turned into success for tens of thousands of students. Of course, they cant write any better than before, but thats beside the point. The students passed the FCAT, didnt they? So their schools letter-grade ratings wont go down, and their self-esteem will remain intact. Thats whats important, isnt it?
The high initial failure rate was due at least in part to increased emphasis this year on spelling, grammar and punctuation, a change in approach administrators didnt adequately convey to the teachers charged with preparing students for the test. As someone who has made a living his entire adult life as a writer and editor, I find this curious. Good writing rests on a foundation...
(Excerpt) Read more at bizpacreview.com ...
This gives new meaning to grading on a curve, doesn’t it???
With all the Gender Confusion who has time to learn the basics.
Been harping on this since I graduated with a BA in English 10 years ago: MOST people, kids included, can’t implement the written language like our predecessors.
Texting, Tweeting, instant messages, and email brevity all lead the charge for linguistic simplicity that eschews proper vocabulary, grammar, and spelling. Kids don’t want to know how to properly use myriad (note: it’s an adjective not a noun) or the difference between you’re and your or they’re, their, and there. They don’t care about serial commas or proper punctuation. They don’t care about ALL CAPS or exclamations!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I’d bet that Florida isn’t alone in this country, but it’s the most prevalent due to the increase of standards for the FCAT which left MOST kids in the dust on their scorecards.
FWIW, Florida used to have a program called “Florida Writes” where assessments were given to 8th, 10th, and 12th graders on writing skills. Charlie Crist did away with that, IIRC. I scored a 6/6 every time I took it. Those of us who scored a 6/6 usually numbered under 5 for the entire school.
The unfortunate thing is that if you cannot write well, you likely also cannot think clear thoughts.
how many schools even teach script?
Now that Florida has attempted to install some system of accountability, everyone is screaming because the FCAT testing system is revealing failure on multiple levels.
Well where is the surprise?
The FCAT system was not installed because the Florida Public School System was demonstrating excellence and success...just the opposite.
So an accountability/testing system was installed in a failing system and voila! It revealed FAILURE.
FCAT was not designed to be a universal teaching methodology...It was designed to reveal if the teaching that was being delivered was actually effective.
Public Schools as currently configured based on Politically Correct Values and Big Government Union Special Interests is a FAILURE.
Start by eliminating the Leftists Values and Big Unions...problem solved!
Texting, Tweeting, instant messages, and email brevity all lead the charge for linguistic simplicity that eschews proper vocabulary, grammar, and spelling.
Why do you speak in acronyms?
Who noes y kids cant rite? Teechers do there best i spose.
Too many damn yankees moving down here to escape from the hellholes they created in the north...........
In the 60's we had to learn "New Math". Now we rank 25th in world wide test scores.
In the 90's we went to phonetic spelling (fonetik spelng) now we rank 12th in reading.
In the millennium we concentrated on improving these scores so we neglected science, now we rank 29th in the world in science.
We took out physical education so no one would lose at any sport or physical activity and we improved our world score there to the #9 fattest country.
Look at Occupy Wall Street and you can see the fruits of our educational system (and a lot of nuts too).
It was reported just recently that schools around here were going to stop teaching script/cursive writing.
Teachers here complain that they have to “teach to the test” rather than teach, apparently, how they want. If the test is “spelling, grammar and punctuation,” what’s the problem? My kids are in an A-rated school and they already are being taught these things - in the first grade.
Kids dont want to know how to properly use myriad (note: its an adjective not a noun)
Since myriad can be used as a noun meaning 10,000. By the way, Milton used it as a noun.
Of course, we have stopped teaching Greek and Latin, so the etymology of words is lost on today's student.
By the way, I remember a move back in the '90s to change certain plurals, such as appendices to appendixes and indices to indexes. Is this bastardization still going on?
How come the head of the Teacher’s Union isn’t summoned before the legislature at budget time to answer this question?
No... it’s not irony. Irony is another word that is misused. Irony means “the use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning”
We are posting on a forum, and those are common shorthand acronyms. I could spell out For What It’s Worth and If I Recall Correctly, but I’ve put in my time in school and excelled greatly. Shorthand can be useful in proper context.
Agreed. Having learned Latin in college, the meaning of words isn’t lost on me.
The common and proper use of the word is as an adjective. Most do not use myriad properly, even as a noun, but I digress.
I agree. I would also add the fact that few kids read for pleasure anymore. I briefly had a Facebook account, and during that time I would check my teenaged niece's page. I was appalled at how many of her "friends" said they don't read. If you don't see the English language used properly, how can you learn to use it yourself?
To answer the title question, one need only to peruse a few of the articles, titles, and responses on FR to understand that writing skills have devolved considerably. Just two articles down from this one is an article with the title “Many Obama’s” that was obviously typed in by the original poster rather than copy/paste since the author of the article, Victor Davis Hanson, clearly knows the proper use of the apostrophe by demonstrating the skill in the lead sentence. The excuse of “it’s (only) the Internet” is supposed to stand as the universal escape from being exposed for lazy writing and thinking. I, for one, don’t buy that.
I give credit to the authors of books like Harry Potter and Twilight. They are making reading fun for kids again. Sadly, there aren’t enough children’s authors around to keep the kids enmeshed.
Even devices like the Kindle Fire are touted as “eReaders,” but they are seldom used to actually read.
To further your point, someone recently said that today’s society is “aliterate”. In other words, they can read (to some level), but they don’t as a practice.
What do American’s expect. As Milton Friedman points out here:
Single payer gives low quality for high cost. - ALWAYS.
A good education system requires two things.
1. Parents pay directly for their children’s education.
2. Fathers raise their children.
Publicly funded education and those that support it are just are just plain stupid.
Part of the view from my corner of the world:
Teachers don’t have time to teach anything that isn’t tested. Guess what?? Handwriting isn’t tested, so kids are coming into 6th grade unable to write in cursive— and, therefore, unable to READ cursive. That’s here in Texas. Spelling has gone by the by because it’s not tested or only lightly tested. [So kids don’t know/no the difference between there/their/they’re, your/you’re, and of course, its/it’s— to name only small part of the spelling problem. They think “IDK” is an answer to a question.]
Parts of speech?? LOL! The structure of the language?? LOL, again.
What’s taking up all their time?? Making inferences, inductive and deductive thinking, using conjunctive adverbs (when they don’t know what an adverb is in the first place), etc., which are all fine things— if you know the basics first.
And, guess what? There’s good old bilingual education that really only teaches them in Spanish and not enough in English. These kids get to take their state assessment (STAAR) in Spanish all through elementary. But, suddenly, in 6th grade, the law requires them to take it in English. Guess what??? They fail— and the middle school takes the hickey for the 5 previous years of neglect.
But teachers can only teach the basics that are tested— or they won’t be teaching any more. And that’s fine, too. A lot of them are getting out of teaching. I met one with young children who quit to go to work for A. G. Edwards.
Education is BS.
It started before there was such a thing as a cell phone. I went to public school starting in the middle 70s and I never learned to write properly. I was a guinea pig for the in fashion educational theories that rejected teaching the basics and rules of proper grammar, etc. When my children come home with homework around phonics I have to hit the internet to even try to understand what they are doing.
Please lurn to spail. /sarc
If this question has to be asked, it shows critical thinking is failing also.
Why can't Florida's students write? Florida teachers don't teach.
I learned phonics early on but not in school. I attribute my educational excellence to my mother’s purchase of numerous educational aides including phonics helpers, encyclopedia and dictionary sets, and a very early computer for educational games.
With all the Gender Confusion who has time to learn the basics.Exactly. Why teach students how to be Correct when you can instead spend the time teaching them to be Politically Correct?
After all, it requires zero education (but a lot of propaganda and persuasion) to get them all to vote democrap when they turn 18.
That's all that matters.
When I went through Instructor Training School (USN) they drummed into me: “If the student failed to learn, the instructor failed to teach.”
Response: The Bell Curve.
>>Because it is not important to the political educatocracy?
“A thinking child is a threat who spoils the harmony of the collective society that is coming.”
— John Dewey, the designer of America’s public school system.
Rather than make children feel bad about themselves, teachers were instructed to ignore those standards and focus on the child's "narrative."
There are many reasons why FloriDUH Pooblik Skool Collective victims (AKA “students”) can’t read.
Most of those reasons are called “teachers”. These “professionals” regularly test in the bottom decile of the university population, and I refer to both students and Edumacation Department faculty.
Dwellers in the shallow end of the IQ/talent pool walk around in Florida’s school buildings sucking on one thumb while scratching their butt with the other. Their total lack of training can be tested by using the “Drill Instructor’s Test”.
Yelling switch will rarely cause any reaction, let alone obeying a command all ed majors learned when in edumacation class. After all, obedience is essential to collectivization, and that is their business.
Can’t teach, can’t even play “Switch”, and can’t be fired.
All this “myriad” talk reminds me of scene from the cult classic, “Heathers” where the main characters are composing a bogus suicide note for the girl they just killed:
Veronica Sawyer: You might think what I’ve done is shocking.
Jason “J.D.” Dean: Yeah, um, to me though suicide is the natural answer to the myriad of problems life has given me.
Veronica Sawyer: That’s good, but Heather would never use the word “myriad.”
Jason “J.D.” Dean: This is the last thing she’ll ever write. She’s going to want to cash in on as many 50 cent words as possible.
Veronica Sawyer: Yeah, but she missed myriad on the vocab test two weeks ago.
Jason “J.D.” Dean: That only proves my point more. The word is a badge of her failures at school.
Try and give a clerk $11.27 when the total is $6.27 (trying to make it easy for him/her) and watch a look of confusion come over their faces as they ponder what to hell you are doing as opposed to simply tendering a $10 bill.
At other times, when the cost is something very simple like $9.89 and you hand them a $10 bill, they actually have to look at their register in order to find out how much change they must return.
In times past, people longed to be able to afford books. Now we all can afford them, but many people just don’t give a rip about them. Depressing.
The schools are busy teaching them to play football!! Why does a school need to go to Texas to play a football game against a TEXAS school??
I'm not the one portraying myself to be an expert in English, you are and as long as you speak in abbreviations, you are no different than the people you are putting down.
Hey, Dale Reed, what about "IIRC" and "FWIW"? Mean anything to you? I know how you like people who speak in abbreviations.
I am a self taught typist, it doesn't come easy for me as I don't even have all my fingers, I make mistakes but I'm not too damn'd lazy to spell out words instead of trying to type cool teenagerese.
I learned IIRC and FWIW ON FR! How long have you been here, Graybeard? You cannot sit here and tell me that you’ve NEVER seen these acronyms, especially on Free Republic. They’re regularly used acronyms along with IM(H)O, TTIUWP, FUBAR, FUBO, YITBOS, etc.
It’s not a generational thing, as you surmise, it’s a net-speak thing. We were talking about structured composition in a classroom/standardized test environment. Do you not see the difference?
I’m not an expert in English by any stretch. I’ve committed 7 years of my post-secondary educational life to studying and perfecting my understanding and use of the English language. I know many who are much better grammarians and linguists. Why are you specifically keyed on two acronyms I used in my post?
I’m a self-taught typist as well. I taught myself to type 18 years ago at the age of 14, and I’ve been doing it ever since. Never sat in a typing class in high school or college. My apologies if you took offense to anything in my post, but I feel you’re barking into the wind.
“I learned IIRC and FWIW ON FR! How long have you been here, Graybeard? You cannot sit here and tell me that youve NEVER seen these acronyms, especially on Free Republic. Theyre regularly used acronyms along with IM(H)O, TTIUWP, FUBAR, FUBO, YITBOS, etc.”
I’ve been here 14 years and have no idea what any of that crap means!!!
Anyone that uses them should be executed!
“My apologies if you took offense to anything in my post”
No offense taken and none meant friend or should that be FRiend?
“I feel youre barking into the wind”
I’ll be alright, as long as I don’t turn into a “barking moon bat”.
Have you heard the good news? I’m a new father!:
(Caution - contains a picture with me in it.)
Do you just gloss over them? Have you trained your eye to overlook them? They’re on almost every post I read, and I troll FR for hours daily.
Congratulations to you, sir. That is most exciting news.
Instead of chucking the next novel we were supposed to read and focusing on diagramming sentences, he gave up. He never mentioned it again.
He was really a great teacher in general, but very close to retirement by that point. I think he'd been beaten down by the system.
After all, that's so very boring and limiting, for the teacher!
We fared better with much less “teacher training” 100 years ago.
This might interest you:
“Unstoppable rise of American English: Study shows young Britons copying US writing style”
Ugh... no more! I get brain fried for weeks after reading articles like these.