By now, most school districts around the country have begun another academic year. Many students complete their writing assignments on computers, but such technological wonders as a spell checker, formatting tools and a pop-up dictionary/thesaurus don’t seem to be helping high school graduates succeed at writing.
Consider this recent news item from The Huffington Post:
In 2012, high school graduates attained an average score of 488 on the writing portion of the SAT. This is the lowest average score since the test was introduced in 2006, and it is well below the level of proficiency required for success in today’s knowledge-based economy. According to College Board, the test sponsor, 43 percent of the students who participated were poorly prepared for course work at the college level. Moreover, only 40 percent of students took the test in 2012.
And it doesn’t look like things get better after college. Martin Zwilling, founder and CEO of Startup Professionals, earlier this week wrote an excellent piece for Forbes.com about the importance of entrepreneurs becoming better writers:
Even in this age of videos and text messages, the quickest way to kill your startup dream with investors, business partners, or even customers, is embarrassingly poor writing. Being very visible in the startup community, I still get an amazing number of badly written emails, rambling executive summaries, and business plans with one paragraph per chapter.
Schools, of all places, should be a place in which spelling and grammar mistakes are avoided. But that’s not always the case, as we reported back in February.
If today’s students don’t learn how to spell, the next generation of business professionals likely will continue making the same types of spelling mistakes as those who’ve gone before them.
Here are examples of spelling shortcomings from people who should know better:
Even (Gasp!) Editors