Experienced writers must consider their own purposes in writing, different audience needs, genre conventions, and how textual features might vary from publication to publication. Lately, from my college students who are recent high school graduates, I hear talk not of “purposes” but of “prompts.” This is what high-stakes test prep has done. Many high school students are bored. This is not breaking news, of course, and there are many reasons students drop out of school, but a number of studies point to boredom as one of the top reasons for leaving. At the same time, high school English teachers are fleeing the profession not only because of unsafe and unreasonable expectations during the pandemic, but even before 2020 because of pressures to prepare students to do well on corporation-enriching, high-stakes tests. This centering of tests and test prep rather than on more sophisticated, meaningful learning results in school curricula that for many students and teachers is oppressive, low-level, and meaningless to their lives.
Read the full review at Teachers College Record