Poor Writing Among U.S. Students--been Saying This For Years

American students have poor writing skills, according to a new national test. The test is the first assessment of how well students can write with computers, San Jose Mercury News reported. But even with a spell check, a thesaurus and other advantages that the computer brings, the majority of students tested "did not communicate effectively," the Orange County Register reported. Just 24 percent of students were considered "proficient" in writing.

Officials from the National Assessment of Educational Progress are concerned. "Writing is fundamental to effective communication, especially in an era in which email and other word-processed documents are the norm rather than the exception," David Driscoll, chairman of NAEP's governing board, told the OC Register. "Our nation's students need to write clearly, logically and accurately. We need to focus on supporting students beyond basic levels so that they have a solid grasp of effective writing skills."

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Officials added that the test shows that computer technology doesn't help students if they can't write well in the first place. In previous years, students taking the writing test had to use pencil and paper instead of a computer, ABC News reported.

More than 24,000 eighth graders and 28,000 12th graders took the exam, which is known as the Nation's Report Card, Bloomberg News reported. Bloomberg News also got ahold of some of the better and weaker passages that students turned in. One weak example from an eighth grader reads: “There is five guys and five girls, the girls will get to sleep inside the plane so they don’t get to cold or scared.”


Comment: As an university level academic and scientific writing specialist with many years of experience, I can state unequivocally that American college students--especially those in state universities--have decidedly mediocre writing skills. Many have not only poor writing skills, but basically no idea why there is any need whatever for formal standards in academic writing or anywhere else for that matter.

Having had 12 years of 'write it any way you like' teaching in the US K to 12 system, college students are developmentally stuck at about the 8th grade level when it comes to how they regard 'hard or challenging or rigorous or tedious or detailed' academic activities like academic / research writing.

Many college students still cling to the idea that general academic knowledge and good problem solving skills are unimportant because they do not reflect 'real life'. In 'real life' apparently you communicate w/ text language and solve problems using emotions not facts and don't have to worry about using mathematics and don't have to worry about spelling or grammar or punctuation--these are all boring and too detail-orientated to worry about.

US culture is devolving down into a sea of mediocrity where nothing really matters, nothing is ever really wrong or immoral, and where standards & principles are viewed as 'uncool'.

What better a situation for socialism to take over? Where all the whiny groups spurred on by feminism, political correctness, and secular progressivism can flourish? Where what we Want becomes more important than what we Need? Where we slowly become shallow- and weak- minded idiots, who need the self-anointed, power hungry, and arrogant so-called 'leaders' of our society to rule w/ impunity?

Not only are we there, but we are REALLY THERE.

Soon enough college students will be turning in reports that look like this:

Southpaugh Southpaugh
Jan 16, 2013