"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The new tough FCAT writing test

The new, tougher FCAT writing test based on incorrect assumptions

Sent to the Orlando Sentinel, July 26, 2011

The new tougher version of the FCAT writing exam ("FCAT writing test about to get tougher," July 26) is supposed to improve writing, because it will stimulate more instruction in spelling and grammar, as well as more writing. A massive amount of research says that this assumption is not correct.

We have known for decades that increased instruction in spelling and grammar, and requiring more writing do not improve writing quality or writing accuracy. Rather, the research consistently shows that extensive reading, especially self-selected reading for pleasure, has a powerful impact on writing proficiency. Writing itself is an excellent tool for discovering new ideas and clarifying thinking, but our ability to write with an acceptable writing style and with accuracy comes from reading.

What all this means is that tougher writing tests will not improve writing. More access to interesting books will.

Stephen Krashen

original article: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/features/education/os-fcat-writing-tougher-grading-20110725,0,966982.story

1 comment:

  1. LauraMarsh12:04 AM

    Spelling and grammar play an important role in writing. Whole structure of writing depends upon spelling and grammar. These mistakes in writing can make writing bad. This is the basic requirement for writing. Spelling and grammar are important everywhere, it can't be ignored.

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