Regarding the Jan. 9 article, “State tests may require students to write more,” — Superintendent Torlakson stated, “ it’s time for California to move forward with assessments that measure real-world skills our students need to be ready for a career and college.” In reality, California will be moving backward if the new tests do sufficiently raise the ability of our high school graduates.
When I graduated from high school in 1960, the number of students who could not write a proper sentence was extremely small. However, thanks to educators’ experimentation with methods of writing that did not include grammar, punctuation, and proper syntax, the number of incoming students who cannot write today is shockingly high. Many teachers began to believe that what the student was saying was more important than how it was said, and many of those students became teachers who then compounded the problem!
As a college professor of more than 40 years, I have watched new students arrive less and less prepared for achieving a degree. If these new tests for our high school students truly do meet the need for preparing them for higher education, then perhaps we will have to move backward to saner, more productive methods.