State Education Department officials will ask the legislature to require an annual writing test for third, sixth and tenth graders. Education Department director, Judy Jeffrey, says writing is not getting enough attention.
Jefferey says that’s especially true now with what’s happening with technology and e-mailing, "this may be a skill that is not emphasized, or seems as important to our students, when in reality writing has a direct effect on how well we are able to communicate."
The department would use federal money to pay the estimated $250,000 cost to develop the writing test. Jefferey says it would be a different kind of test from the standard fill in the blank or multiple choice. Jefferey says most writing tests are done with prompts where students then respond and the teachers are trained on how to score the writing sample.
The writing test is part of the Education Department’s wish list for the next legislative session. The timed tests would cover creative, explanatory and persuasive writing.