Schools stress reading and ‘rithmetic, but many students don’t learn to write, says this USA Today columnist. Even worse, they don’t learn to revise their writing.
As high school seniors race to meet December college-application deadlines, most face the oft-required “personal statement” with understandable dread. Only a quarter of America’s 12th-graders, the 2002 National Assessment of Educational Progress found, can write tolerable essays. Only about 2% create the kind of zesty prose that makes reading worthwhile.
No Child Left Behind “has held schools to strict reading and arithmetic standards. But the law is strangely quiet about the third “R” of the trio.”