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Tuesday, May 10, 2005

It's how you use it

As an educator, this pushes my buttons.
This cheers me up, but only just.

I worry about our higher education institutions. I foresee a day in the not-too-distant future, when colleges such as Western Washington University, entangled by their own beauracracy, endeavor to cut costs by eliminating admissions essay readers. Instead, they think to themselves, we will use the national standard set by the essay-writing portion of the SAT. Surely the National Board knows what they are doing. Floods of letter-jacketed newbies, released into the college pool and reassured by the national standard scores, will be in for a sore surprise when they realize that their professors and future employers care more about content than length.

Scrap the SAT essays, and focus instead on teaching our kids how to write for content. And if you insist on testing writing skills in this way, at least provide correct information for the students to base their essays on, so they have no excuse if they fall flat on their facts.