10 September 2009

State of Education

I was reading an article responding to the idea that the internet has butchered the writing skills of this generation. "As for all the bad writing out there? It's not a sign of the destruction of written English. Those people probably wouldn't be writing much at all without the internet. So it's actually a step up, relatively, from what they would have been doing in an alternate internetless universe."

How is texting affecting writing skills? "accrdng 2 educators, sum hi skool studnts hu snd lots of txt msgs may B eroding their basic ritN skilz" Can't read it? Translate here.

"He was as tall as a six-foot three-inch tree." From the worst analogies written by high school students ever.

How about handwriting? My mom has gorgeous, precise handwriting, all due, she says, to teachers who would slash parallel lines over laboriously written lessons to ensure that the letters leaned properly to the right. "In schools today, they're teaching to the tests," says Tamara Thornton, a University of Buffalo professor and the author of a history of American handwriting. "If something isn't on a test, it's viewed as a luxury." Garcia agrees. "It's getting harder and harder to balance what's on the test with the rest of what children need to know," she says. "Reading is on there, but handwriting isn't, so it's not as important." In other words, schools don't care how a child holds her pencil as long as she can read. "Mourning the Death of Handwriting"

As for geography, here is an adults comments about Florida and Alaska (in case you didn't know, these are not foreign nations, they are portions of our own United States).

And math: "Japanese (after-school) math-time was 238 percent higher than that of American students."


  1. I've been worried about the texting thing too- which is why even when I text (which is rarely) I try really hard to not use shorthand. I can read it though, generally. I hadn't yet put this all together with handwriting though- that makes me sad. I used to get such satisfaction from looking at a page full of my own un-blemished handwriting- I wrote novel-like letters and filled up many journals.

  2. I think your handwriting says a lot about you. I love my handwriting. I always write in my kid's scrapbooks so that they can see it and remember it when I am gone.

  3. I think that's really nice- and I know that you and I both love ephemera that contains handwriting. My mom has a purchase order from a school that my great (great?) grandmother wrote out with all the supplies she was ordering. I agree on the handwriting thing- drafters though are a weird exception to this because to me their handwriting all says drafting and not much else. They have to write in little boxes on their drawings and consequently all end up with very similar handwriting.

  4. But that in itself is indicative of who they are. James writes like that and it reminds me of what he loves.