Wednesday, August 22, 2007

"True North is in the Eyes of the Beholder"

Today I spent about 7 hours reading "writing proficiency (something) tests" --I always forget what the S stands for because everyone just says "WPST" all the time. Anyway, it's exhausting to read and score (holistic scoring on a 6 point scale, 2 readers for each test) so many. I think I read about 60-70, about 8 hand-written pages each. They were actually better this year then last fall, which is when I last participated in the reading.

Anyway, after a while we all just get kind of punchy because we're drinking coffee and reading and reading, and stumbling across phrases like the one I share in this title. This was an actual title of an essay exam. Just think about it for awhile. And we had our perennial debate over what exactly we care more about; correct usage or clear arguments. I think this time I was more convincing about the importance of argument.

So I hope the trend continues, that students seem to be more ready by the time they take the test. One interesting note--students were writing about generational differences and without fail identified experiences with technology as on of the main differences between their own experience and their parents' or grandparents'. I was impressed at their awareness.

No comments: