The Oregon Book Report - Book News from Oregon

School spell-check cop-out

August 9, 2013

By Erika Weisensee, Oregon Writer

I usually avoid controversy. I like to write about inspiring, humorous, heart-warming topics. Forgive me. . .I just can’t help myself right now because I’m a writer and a writing instructor, and I need to chime in on a topic making news in Oregon this week: Spelling!

In case you haven’t heard, the Oregon Department of Education recently made a controversial decision to allow students to use spell check when taking the agency’s online writing assessment. ODE staff met with school district representatives and decided after “in-depth discussion” to make this change to its online writing assessment. The change will impact grades 7 to 12.

Wow! Seems to me there is real value in teaching, learning and being accountable for good spelling without depending on spelling software. Seems to me allowing the use of spell check on a writing test de-emphasizes the importance of knowing how to spell, which is integral to the development of fluid writing and editing skills.

Being a good writer requires many skills that develop with practice. These skills include the ability to organize material, the ability to construct a sound argument and support it with evidence, having a command of grammar, knowing how parts of sentences work together, the ability to put words together in an original way, and the ability to edit one’s work for clarity, conciseness, and yes, correct spelling. Good spelling is an essential layer of strong writing.

Allowing the use of spell check on a writing test seems so counter-productive to what should be a goal of writing instructors at every level: Encouraging the practice and knowledge of spelling without reliance on a computer program that is by nature a flawed editor.

  
Print This Post Print This Post    Email This Post Email This Post

Discuss this article

no comments yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please answer the following question to confirm that you are a real person: *

Latest Headlines

Subscribe to Weekly Updates

 

Top Business News

 

Top Natural Resource News

 

Top Faith News

 

Copyright © 2017, OregonReport. All Rights Reserved. | Terms of Use - Copyright - Legal Policy | Contact Oregon Report

Stay Tuned...

Stay up to date with the latest political news and commentary from Oregon Women's Report through weekly email updates:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Prefer another subscription option? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, become a fan on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

RSS Twitter Facebook

No Thanks (close this box)