Illinois cuts writing out of H.S. standardized test - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Illinois cuts writing out of H.S. standardized test

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High School English teacher Jeri Shaw says writing in the classroom is more important than ever. High School English teacher Jeri Shaw says writing in the classroom is more important than ever.
Goins says he's surprised writing was scratched from the test just to trim the state budget. Goins says he's surprised writing was scratched from the test just to trim the state budget.
Shaw says writing will always be taught in her classroom. She hopes other Illinois teachers feel the same; whether or not it's on the test. Shaw says writing will always be taught in her classroom. She hopes other Illinois teachers feel the same; whether or not it's on the test.
WEST FRANKFORT, IL (KFVS) -

In an era where text messaging and Facebook dominate student's lives, Frankfort Community High School English teacher Jeri Shaw says writing in the classroom is more important than ever.

"Sometimes I have to say ‘I don't know your text lingo, don't put it in your papers please,'" said Shaw.

But the State of Illinois has cut the written test out of the Prairie State Achievement Examination. It's estimated the move will save the state $2.4 million, but Shaw worries about the future of writing in Illinois classrooms.

"Unfortunately state testing does drive instruction," said Shaw.

Curriculum is often designed around what students will face when they take the PSAE, and Shaw says students need to be taught and tested on their writing.

"Whether students are college bound or joining the workforce out of high school, they need good fundamental writing skills," said Shaw.

"They eliminated the writing requirement at the elementary school level last year, so this is the next step toward eliminating writing all together, which is a concern of mine," said Frankfort Schools superintendent Greg Goins.

Goins says he's surprised writing was scratched from the test just to trim the state budget.

"I'm a little disappointed that the budget shortfall in Illinois has now trickled into the classroom," Goins said.

Shaw says writing will always be taught in her classroom. She hopes other Illinois teachers feel the same; whether or not it's on the test.

"Whether state testing takes it out or not, it's important," Shaw said. "It's an important life skill and I think good teachers will see that and continue to put it in their curriculum."

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