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."