I read an article from The Buffalo News this morning about the mixed messages that high school students are receiving about the SAT writing section:
Writing is important (my English teacher says so, and it is, after all, now part of the SAT), BUT
many colleges are not considering the SAT essay in the admissions process.
The very end of the article suggests that, despite the mixed messages, preparing for the SAT can be a positive experience, generally, and that preparing for the writing section, specifically, can help students improve their writing. I agree 100%. In fact, my own writing skills have improved since I began tutoring students for the “new” writing section a few years ago. (I admit my writing is not perfect, but it probably never will be!)
On a somewhat related point, I find it interesting that within the American school system, writing instructors stress clarity and brevity, yet most of what students are forced to read in their English classes is convoluted and difficult to understand. Talk about mixed messages.