Assessment essay gems

I can’t find my thread, so I am starting another one. Here are a couple more gems from a recent batch of college placement test essays:

Albert Einstein invented electricity to power light sources.
During Kennedy’s presidency, the Great Depression played a part in people’s lives even after it was over.

Oh, I love these :slight_smile:

Remind me again, what are these essays supposed to be assessing?

Here, I’ve shown your work
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The Return of Assessment Test Sentence gems!
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They are written by incoming students of all ages–high school, much older people coming back to school, and so on.
They can pick one of three prompts to write about. My fellow scorers and I determine their placement based on our rubrics. Some go into ESL classes of various levels, while others go into Freshman Comp or the two classes that precede Comp (paragraphs to essays; and sentences to paragraphs). And some go into a remedial English class.

But with the passage of AB 705 in CA, h.s. GPA is now going to be used to place many students. We will have tons more Comp classes but far fewer of some others. Apparently, only 30% of those placed into the sentences class ever go on to Comp, and only 50% of those placed in paras do, while over 70% of those placed in Comp. will get through and transfer to a university. In the near future, there won’t be as many assessments going on.

This scares me.
Adults who need entire courses called “sentences to paragraphs” and then maybe advancing all the way to “paragraphs to essay”?

What are these applicants intending to do with their lives? Are their educational and career goals realistic?

And God bless you for providing what I suppose is an important social service.
What type of institution/organization do you work for?

Shrug, that may be a matter of reorganizing the way Comp is taught. I would never have thought anybody got a class called “sentences to paragraphs”, but then, I also never had a Comp class. That was all taught in the same box labeled “Spanish”, along with grammar and lit.

“Comp”? Composition?

  1. Actually, those are my very basic definitions of the courses but not their names.

  2. Good questions.

  3. Thank you; a community college.

The placement test is currently required for placement into English classes (see below), business English, admission to the health science program, and all courses requiring English eligibility.

English 1A is Freshman Comp, which develops expository and argumentative essays and research paper skills; emphasizes critical reading of academic material.

English 68, one step before that, is Preparation for college writing; develops academic essay skills based on critical reading of texts. (includes lots of paragraphs)

English 67, one step below 68, is Writing Fundamentals–emphasizes sentence, outlining, summary, paragraph and essay skills, and critical thinking through combining reading and writing. (lots of sentences, and then paragraphs.)

Students may place into any of the above.

Or they could place into LERN (improving writing): Develop as a writer through practice and reflection. Improve writing process and product through prewriting, writing, editing, and revising. Develop writing strategies and confidence in a community of writers. (remediation)

Or they might need to go to AMLA (American language, various levels)

Students can enroll in ESL (somehow different from AMLA–my dept. does not handle these) or LERN without taking the assessment test.

We also have Bridge classes, which combine English and Counseling courses (how to succeed in college); these course offerings are limited.

AND…we now have English 66, paragraph writing. And 75, vocab building; and English 64, Writing effective sentences; and English 90, accelerated developmental writing.

As we continue the transition required by AB 705, many students will be taking a combo of English 1A and 66.

Here is the gist of the bill:
And the full bill:

Many of us are still not convinced that these new measures are going to work out.

Time will tell.

Yes, of course high school should prepare folks for college, but often this does not happen. That’s why so many of them don’t place into Fresh. Comp. --or at least, they didn’t used to, but now they’re going to be placed into it based on GPA.

Then there the international students, disabled and deaf students, students who are vets, former gang bangers or inmates, former substance abusers, formerly or currently homeless, middle-aged and seniors returning for whatever reason, etc.

Clarification: I teach at a community college, but I also taught at a university and it had the same kinds of classes and levels. There was no difference in this or in the caliber of students; it just costs more money to go straight into a uni than it does to go to a cc and then transfer to the uni.

Well, duh. The heavy sources were already powered by horses and stuff. But not by stuffed horses. Nor dead ones, no matter how soundly beaten. Of course, electricity won’t power a dead horse too well, either, except for some twitching.

Did I place good?

Sometimes the public school system doesn’t do its job and fails to teach people how to organize and write modestly complex thoughts. This is not always a satisfactory state of affairs and a portion of such people eventually want better for themselves. It’s a brave move to submit what you know must be crap writing, in order to start the process of doing better. What is scary are the large numbers of people who don’t know/don’t care how illiterate they are. They still vote and drive cars, and many regard ‘educated’ people with immense distrust.

Threads like this one are clearly in fun and some of the odd phrasing is quite giggleworthy. It is worth remembering, however, we’re getting our yucks by mocking people whose language skills we find inferior to our own. A little like muscle heads laughing at the flabby guy signing up for a gym membership.

We’re not laughing at poor language skills. We’re laughing at hilarious assertions and “facts”.

At dummies.

To be frank, I do collect wacky syntax as well.

But I’m not alone. See post #33 in this ancient thread, in which a couple of Dopers couldn’t see the humor:

You done placed so good that you could go right into Freshman (woman? human? person?) Comp, based in no small part on your smartitude. :slight_smile:

Makes sense to me. It played a huge part in my mother’s life, born 1940. And through her, it’s played a part in my life as well, and it’s even showing up in my nieces. My grandparents learned the financial skills to survive in the Great Depression, and passed them on to my mother. My mother in turn used those skills to raise two children on a below-poverty-level income without most government assistance. The next generation is well enough off now not to need such extreme frugality, but my nieces are still significantly more frugal than most of their classmates, even 80 years after the Depression.

We’re laughing at the first three words of the sentence, not the rest of it.

If you think that’s impressive, you should see me cypher!

I love these. I get them from a friend who teaches remedial English at a community college - and sometimes I get them from friends who teach other subjects - some at four year schools.

Often it isn’t the public school system not doing its job, but a sixteen year old kid who doesn’t want to be prepared for college. They aren’t going to college, school is for suckers, they are going to play video games and deliver pizza (if they are thinking that far ahead) and you don’t need to be able to write a college level essay for THAT. Then they get out into the real world and discovering delivering pizzas doesn’t pay them enough to get their own apartment and Mom won’t let their girlfriend stay over and decide they need to do something with their lives - community colleges give these people a second chance - but they often need remedial work.

There are other stories - immigrants, adult learners who haven’t written anything essay like in ten years. Usually students who want to be college ready upon leaving high school can do it in most public schools in the country - the gap is those kids who don’t value that when its free. And yes, some of them will never value it.