A quick thought I posted on FB:
writing in today's schools is prompt writing. This is typically
worthless writing because the student had no input in the topic, etc.
Prompt after prompt after prompt wears on a child's soul.
And when students aren't engaged, the student work you are
looking at is WORTHLESS. Without engagement, the student work is not
authentic - these writing prompts, etc. do not demonstrate what the
child is truly capable of doing. When someone asks me to look at a
child's piece of writing, the first thing I ask is - did this child
choose the topic? If the child has no ownership in the topic, I already
know that the sample is most likely not the child's best work and
therefore it is a waste of time to evaluate it.
Yet, we have
teachers determining teaching points based on poor writing samples.
Therefore, any teaching points created as a result of these evaluations
are low level and worthless. What's left? Mediocre teaching that
produces mediocre learning that is not engaging and not even close to
what the children are capable of. This is what top-down high stakes
standards bring us. Mediocrity. Dis-engaged learners. And a bunch of
teachers out there running on that hamster wheel keeping busy and quiet
just like they want us to be - while the walls crumble down around us.
Such a flipping charade. All of it.
So - parents - rule #1 -
when your child brings home a piece of writing - ask them - did they
choose that topic? And if not, is there any purpose whatsoever to the
writing? Expose the charade.