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Do we have to choose?

A warning to college profs from a high school teacher
A recently retired high school teacher wrote:

My students did well on those [AP Exam] questions because we practiced bad writing. My teaching was not evaluated on the basis of how well my students did, but I felt I had a responsibility to prepare them for the examination in a way that could result in their obtaining college credit.

I would like to believe that I prepared them to think more critically and to present cogent arguments, but I could not simultaneously prepare them to do well on that portion of the test and teach them to write in a fashion that would properly serve them at higher levels of education.

via A warning to college profs from a high school teacher.

Do we really have to choose among writing well, thinking well and scoring highly on exams? Here at Colorado College, we have multiple structures in place to help. Writing Intensive classes should help students become better writers, especially if they visit the writing center for a consultation. We’ve also got Quantitative Reasoning classes and the QRC, which should help the students think better as well. Finally, all classes at CC should help the students hone their analysis and reasoning skills, which will help them score well on exams.

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