- The search for three Marines missing after a MV–22 Osprey crash off Australia’s coast is now a recovery operation. Australia’s military is sending ships and divers to help.
The U.S. military killed a senior al Shabaab commander in southern Somalia.
Venezuela’s chief prosecutor, Luisa Ortega, was removed from office over her investigation of voting irregularities in the constituent assembly election. Venezuela’s government returned opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez to house arrest after taking him to a military prison last week.
Common Core was supposed to improve students’ writing ability, but there’s little evidence that it has helped. That’s prompting educators to rethink how they’re teaching writing:
There is virulent debate about what approach is best. So-called process writing, like the lesson Lyse experienced in Long Island, emphasizes activities like brainstorming, freewriting, journaling about one’s personal experiences and peer-to-peer revision. Adherents worry that focusing too much on grammar or citing sources will stifle the writerly voice and prevent children from falling in love with writing as an activity.
That ideology goes back to the 1930s, when progressive educators began to shift the writing curriculum away from penmanship and spelling and toward diary entries and personal letters as a psychologically liberating activity. Later, in the 1960s and 1970s, this movement took on the language of civil rights, with teachers striving to empower nonwhite and poor children by encouraging them to narrate their own lived experiences.
Dr. Hochman’s strategy is radically different: a return to the basics of sentence construction, from combining fragments to fixing punctuation errors to learning how to deploy the powerful conjunctive adverbs that are common in academic writing but uncommon in speech, words like “therefore” and “nevertheless.” After all, the Snapchat generation may produce more writing than any group of teenagers before it, writing copious text messages and social media posts, but when it comes to the formal writing expected at school and work, they struggle with the mechanics of simple sentences.