We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Kollege over inflates its importance. If writing is needed for your profession, you learn how to write from other professionals in your field. This is true even for professional schools. A law school grad has minimal competence, if that, to write basic legal documents until with much effort he can write clear, persuasive English the way Mother Nature intended it to be written.
The medical profession, I understand, has to teach fledgling docs how to write illegibly, an entirely different skill set from not being able to write at all.
The social sciences teach how to write incoherently.
Yes, high schools are not doing a good job these days of teaching writing. Some shortcomings are i)letting slipshod spelling, grammar and composition get by; ii) teaching writing to pass standardized tests. This makes writing too formulaic.
Nonetheless, the teaching of writing in high school was a problem in the 1960s when I was in high school, not just today. I was taught to write by writing literary criticism. I and probably most of my fellow students hated being turned into Junior Literary Critics. Friends have informed me that is still the way writing is taught at my old high school.
Better that we should write about what we knew- we realized that out attempts at literary criticism were SWAGS.
College students can't write because the English department needed a cash cow so some idiot devised the idea that literary theorists and poets could also teach composition. Not to mention the emphasis on research for career advancement, while composition is something taught, not really amenable to research.
We might also point out that most composition instructors have some "theme" for their course, which they promote their SJW beliefs through, rather than teaching composition as a skill.
We have an all volunteer group in this small town. We are a group of professionals who go into the 9-12 grades and tutor students during their English course class. A group of 3 or 4 of us are scheduled to assist during the course hour. You would cry if you saw what we see.
At the same time, this generation has been told relentlessly that they are capable of anything and that they are special regardless of how little they can actually accomplish.
I teach at a community college and have had students tell me "Oh, I can do this" after I had patiently explained that it was impossible for them to pass my class since they needed 150 points for a D and there were only 100 possible points remaining to be awarded on the final exam.
No, no you can't. Fourth grade math would show you that if you knew it.
Met a nice, Hispanic woman who is probably 40 years old. She was born in this country. Her parents were from Mexico. She grew up in a Spanish-speaking household. They sent her to public school in L.A. for the first 8 or 9 years of her education she was in a 'spanish-only' class. That's right. They did not teach in English.
Then, she got to high school and had no idea how to spell things correctly or write coherently.
This is holding her back in life. It is sad to see. The education system in CA experimented with her and others of her generation. Now she talks with an accent and can't write worth a darn. How would she ever be able to get a higher education with such poor skills?
The ones teaching these students went through the same ill prepared school programs. How can they teach these students any manner of correct skills for constructing a paragraph, picking up the thoughts from the previous para and incorporating it so the essay flows.
The real question is why are these students passed along with little or no basic educational survival skills. As an admissions tester once said, "If they cannot read on a basic level, we are not going to teach them anything."
I agree with the professor, but would add that you cannot write if you do not READ. We constantly read good books to our four home-schooled children when they were younger and they picked up the habit of reading on their own - and not just YA literature (though they have done their share of that) but the classics like Dickens, Hugo, Austen, Alcott, etc. The older three are now in college and can write very well.