It has been a hellish week even though I successfully defended my thesis last semester. (Yay) One of my two jobs at school is running a writing lab for the undergrads in my department where I help students polish their papers and check for APA formatting and... it's crunch time. Final papers are due and that means I have a line of students waiting for help.
After seeing some of the work students cobble together and call a college level paper, I can see why they're trying to force high school students to pass exit exams in this state. While the first cohort to go through this will suffer the most and it's a particular challenge for new English speakers, ultimately I think it's needed (at least for those who have reached a certain level of English proficiency). There are obviously students managing to graduate and squeeze into university via jr. college transfer who can barely construct a sentence and probably shouldn't have passed high school English. I think an exit exam will help administrators hold schools accountable for ensuring their students graduate with basic math and English skills. I know a high schooler who took the exam already and she claimed it was ridiculously easy. Anyways, I guess I'm just bitching because it's frustrating to see students go through the system having learned squat in English class. A select few would also get an F for effort and work ethic. That student in my friend's class spelled his own name wrong AGAIN for god's sake.
Many of the international students, on the other hand, have flourished over the semester and put together papers with depth and incredible organization. My hats are off to them for coming to a new country on their own, learning a new language, and succeeding in school. I don't think I could've done it at their age.
okay. enough complaining. I'm gonna go watch some more Bobby Lee skits on You Tube.