Amidst all the controversy surrounding the Zell Miller Scholarship for high-achieving students, I have not heard a single critic posing my most pressing question: Why is the score on the writing portion of the SAT excluded as a qualifying criterion?
As a retired English teacher, I have examined samples of that writing section quite carefully, and I deem it a valid and highly reliable measure of a student’s ability to organize thoughts and to compose well-constructed sentences using standard English. Obviously the highly respected STAR Student program agrees with my assessment, for it has included the writing scores in its search for top students since the College Board first implemented the writing component in 2005.
While I do applaud Gov. Deal and Georgia’s legislators for creating a scholarship for talented, hardworking students, I must admonish them, too: Do not leave the writing card out of the deck! No accomplishment in any academic area can ever trump one’s ability to communicate intelligibly and intelligently.