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Oregon To Let Students Use Spell Check on State Exams 235

Posted by samzenpus
from the is-there-a-proofreader-in-the-house? dept.
Starting in 2011, the Oregon Department of Education will let students spell check their work before submitting state exams. From the article: "The move is supposed to help the assessments focus less on typos and more on their writing skills. 'We are not letting a student's keyboarding skills get in the way of being able to judge their writing ability,' said state Superintendent Susan Castillo. 'As we're using technology to improve what we're doing with assessments as a nation, we believe that spell check will be one of those tools.'"

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Oregon To Let Students Use Spell Check on State Exams

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  • First Post (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 21, 2010 @03:07PM (#34633080)
    Karma be dammed!!!!
  • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Tuesday December 21, 2010 @03:22PM (#34633328) Journal

    Cute. Per usual it depends on the goal.

    My AP English teacher ignored errors (writeo's he called them), and if I recall correctly the AP Exam did too. He expected spelling to be correct for our homework, but not for in-class exams where a 45 minute limit precluded looking-up words in a dictionary. Content & the thesis mattered more than perfection.

  • by egamma (572162) <egamma.gmail@com> on Tuesday December 21, 2010 @03:36PM (#34633546)

    This is just lowering the bar so that dumb people feel smart! This does 2 things: -Makes US High School Diplomas worthless (Hey, if the illiterate can get through HS, why would I want to hire one with a HS Diploma?) -Gives a false sense of confidence when they go to college.(Results: more drop outs)

    I fail to see how illiterate people would benefit from a spelling checker. It's not a text to speech program--they would still have to string words together to form ideas, and write a semblance of the word for the spelling checker to offer the correct spelling.

    And if the colleges allow spelling checkers--and any class that lets you type your paper in your dorm room does--then college performance won't be impacted.

  • by Red Flayer (890720) on Tuesday December 21, 2010 @04:18PM (#34634212) Journal

    people who don't take the time to spell things correctly are usually deficient in other areas such as grammar and writing clarity

    I'm sure there's a class of people that are unable to spell correctly no matter how much time they have and how much of that time they apply to spelling accurately.

    For that matter, faced with a written exam with a time limit -- people must decide how they use the limited time they have. Should I be rewarded because I am a champion speller, and can spend more time on the important parts of my composition, while others must devote more of their time to ensuring they spell correctly?

    The other thing I'd like to add is that your perception of a correlation between poor spelling and poor grammar and clarity could present a problem -- graders who have that same perception are likely to grade exam-takers with poor spelling worse due to their bias against poor spellers. Maybe poor spelling has a greater impact on grading at high levels than you might suppose. Just food for thought...

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