Washington Post article on writing skills discusses 'Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses', a book on college student learning co-authored by Curry's Josipa Roksa.
The failure of many of today’s college students to write decently, even after years of instruction, became headline news not long ago when a well-researched study of college student learning was published as a book under the title “Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses.” Its authors, Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa, found that 45 percent of 2,300 students at 24 colleges showed no significant improvement in critical thinking, complex reasoning and writing by the end of their sophomore years. Experts in education were shocked. Bill Gates said, “Before reading this book, I took it for granted that colleges were doing a very good job.”
Those who were paying closer attention than Gates have known for some while that many colleges are terrible at teaching writing. Millions of young men and women sit in freshman composition classrooms each fall semester, but if the Arum report is right, nearly half will write just as badly in their junior years as when they started college. There are “legions of college graduates who cannot write a clear, grammatical sentence,” says Natalie Wexler of The Writing Revolution, an educational nonprofit group focused on the reformation of writing pedagogy.