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.
But the high schools hire the poorly trained English majors to teach English/writing. Writing instruction in high school and college is based around writing what the literary theorists like, literature, turning off most students from putting effort into writing well.
I've linked to Paul Graham's 2004 'The Age of the Essay' before where he lays out how the valuable task of teaching composition by the teachers of rhetoric was dumped into the English department to give that department some validity and captive student tuition.
Your complaint is similar to the historical gripe about teaching students how to study:
It is, perhaps, unnecessary to collect proofs that young people do not learn how to study, because teachers admit the fact very generally. Indeed, it is one of the common subjects of complaint among teachers in the elementary school, in the high school, and in the college. All along the line teachers condole with one another over this evil, college professors placing blame on the instructors in the high school, and the latter passing it down to teachers in the elementary school. Parents who supervise their children's studies, or who otherwise know about their habits of work, observe the same fact with sorrow. It is at least refreshing to find one matter, in the much-disputed field of education, on which teachers and parents are well agreed.
--How to Study and Teaching How to Study (1909) by F. M. McMurry, Professor of Elementary Education, Teachers College, Columbia University
Once someone develops an app or methodology to teach students how to write coherently in a rapid manner, that will be a game changer in education.
Cutting out the English department with its social justice literary theory garbage is a real need.
I've long read and heard professors in other departments that depend on essay writing lament that they had to teach their students to write in spite of the student's having been through the English department's required composition courses.
From another POV, the documentation that teachers put up with now are formidable time consumers compared with 20-30 yrs ago. As noted the quality of teachers in many systems has gone down as there are other career options for the brighter 30% of college students that
are much more attractive. It is also a hell of a lot of work to wade through 20-30 several page essays, and it doesn't do much toward getting the student through standardized testing now so popular. Many classrooms are pretty chaotic, an environment that means any essays required will be ignored by a significant % of students with little recourse.
It's hard to type when I am laughing so hard that I am crying. These are tears of pain, though. You see, I have been grading about 100 capstone essays for the last couple of weeks. And I am ready to jump off a tall building to end this misery. If only my students were able to write coherently and follow basic rules, I would be able to deal with this pile of drek that they turned in to me. Instead, their junior high and high school teachers passed them on to me with no communication skills.
I was taught spelling, grammar and the rules of writing starting in the second grade in Catholic school. By the end of sixth grade every student had a working knowledge of how to construct a sentence and a paragraph. By eighth grade we’re all capable of clear, logical writing.
One of the basic tools of learning grammar and sentence structure is diagramming a sentence. We learned that in fifth and six grade and had it hammered into us to the point we could do it in our sleep. As a result we could construct a clear concise sentence almost without thinking about it.
Somewhere along the way, diagramming sentences went out of fashion. I don’t know anybody under the age of 60 who knows how to diagram a sentence or remembers being taught that in school.
Somewhere along the line that basic tool of teaching a lot of fashion much like long division. As a result, younger people have been deprived of one of the most basic tools of writing and it shows.