Why can’t today’s students write?

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Last week the Nation’s Report Card announced that no more than 40% of America’s 4th and 8th graders are proficient in reading and math. Those are scary numbers, but the numbers for writing are even more frightening: only 27% of American 8th and 12th graders attained proficiency.

Why are American students such terrible writers?

Several answers to this question dawned on me while reading through an 1897 text by Dr. Edwin Lewis. Entitled A First Book in Writing English, Dr. Lewis’ book was recommended for freshman and sophomore students and used in places such as Ann Arbor High School around the turn of the 20th century. Needless to say, American schools, students, and even adults regularly violate three principles which Lewis deemed essential to the writing process.

Read the rest of the article from Intellectual Takeout by Annie Holmquist here.

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