In American Thinker Christopher Chantril writes
May 25, 2008
US Can’t Pass English 101
Since we are worrying about “larger implications” let us escape from the bell jar of liberal thinking and wonder why it is that after a century and a half of “free” public education so many students present themselves at college unable to write a coherent sentence. If you read the latest National Assessment of Adult Literacy you will find that only 13 percent of US adults are rated “proficient” in prose literacy, e.g., “comparing viewpoints in two editorials.” We are not talking here about 87 percent of Americans lacking the skill to write a scintillating article comparing foolish liberal with wise conservative viewpoints on education. We are talking about 87 percent of adults being not quite up to the task reading a couple of editorials and getting the point.
HKO- I have remained dissapointed in the vast majority of my employees’ ability to write the simplest report, memo or letter. Even the college educated struggle and avoid putting thoughts clearly on paper.
Writing is essential to clear thinking; you may think you know something but being able to put it on paper clarifies more than anything.
My daughter just graduated from the same private school I did 37 years ago and she can write better than 99% of my employees. One of the main reasons Stratford Academy graduates do so well in college is because they learn to write very early and often. (85% of Stratford graduates who attend UGA retain their HOPE scholarship compared to about 30% statewide). Stratford graduates attend a wide variety of colleges (4 are at Harvard) and they and their parents will tell you that they are well prepared when they get there. I credit my comfort in writing to the same curriculum from Stratford.
If you never learn proper writing in high school and before, it becomes very unlikely you will learn it in college.