Graduating High School Students
There is an ongoing debate as to whether high school students
have learned enough literacy skills to be successful when going
on to higher learning.
A serious problem?
Bernie Gaidosch, an English instructor said, “Students come to
college with ninth-grade-level writing skills.”
It's not just American students) I find this hard to accept;
maybe a few students are pushed through the system, but usually
they end up dropping out, and shouldn’t be used as examples of
students with low literacy skills.
Is our testing system at fault?
Justus Havelaar, a retired English teacher, also thinks
graduating Grade 12 students are weak.. He says, “Students who
earn high marks on provincial exams go on to fail first year
university courses.” (How
to Graduate Better Writers)
Havelaar blames this on “weak” provincial exams and teachers
only “teaching to the test.” In one swoop of the brush, he
manages to paint all teachers as leaderless sheep. I’m sure most
teachers will undoubtedly find such words offensive. Teachers
teach what the curriculum sets out, and this is what the
students are tested on.
understand what Crawford Kilian means when he says, “Of course
students can’t read or write." (Is
The naysayers will probably be saying the same thing (lacking
literacy skills) when these same students go on to their masters
degree. In other words, it’s an old story.
Mastering the basic skills.
Kilian goes on to say, “When [the students] need to master basic
skills they will.” Let’s give students the credit they deserve;
after all, they are passing. These are the students who will be
our next politicians, teachers, and business leaders.
student capable of passing the provincial exams will, if they
want, master the skills needed to succeed in the higher learning
of their choice. If anything, their transition is what will be
the most difficult, but I’m positive most students will be up to