No more spelling tests?

Over at The Core Knowledge Blog there’s a new post on how some school districts are encouraging teachers to stop giving regular spelling tests in favor of grading students on how well they spell in their writing.  On the whole, I’m not really sure how I feel about this issue, as I haven’t thought about it much, except that I’d rather see kids correct their spelling than be graded on it. Still, what I noticed is that the author of this post, who seems to lean more towards the traditional spelling test side of things gives exactly two arguments in favor of spelling tests.

  1. I had spelling tests. My wife had spelling tests. Our whole generation had spelling tests. We turned out alright. Therefore, our kids should have spelling tests. Otherwise, there’s no accountability. (Actually, this is an argument made by a parent quoted in the original article in the Houston Chronicle, not by the author.)
  2. It’s a good way to practice study skills for taking tests later.
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