Bob Schieffer's commentary today on "Face the Nation" was on an article or commentary from some news person in NY who had a problem with all of the attention given to the Spelling Bee. His reaction was shock at why the newscaster would think it is not important to teach spelling. He even said something to the effect of, "we should teach kids to write with subtlety" instead of text language. This struck me because my son, who is an 11th grader recently mentioned that he has a vocabulary test to take in his class this summer and hasn't had one since 4th grade. There have been a few spelling tests along the way, but not vocabulary. I have made sure he knew the meaning of words he was learning to spell, but it was not required by the teachers. That was disappointing.
I have also noticed an easing in the editing of his papers. I have seen papers turned in by my son that were easily a B- but they received an A with no edits. I worry about the quality of writing being "dumbed down" a bit. I know there are edits available in every software and spell check but shouldn't students be able to write a letter by hand and know the difference between there and their, how to use them properly and even spell recession without hitting spell check.
Schieffer admitted he was a horrible speller, as a former winner of Spelling Bees and someone who receives phone calls asking how to spell words, I agree with him, it is very important that kids know vocabulary.
Windy City Diva