It comes as no surprise that employers are hard pressed to find workers who can effectively communicate (“What Skills Do Students Really Need for Work? Education Week, Sep.26). I say that because I taught English for 28 years in the same high school in the Los Angeles Unified School District. During that time, I saw the disconnect between the kind of writing curricular guides required and what I knew the workplace demanded.
I have nothing against creative writing. But I question if the skills required are transferable. Employers need workers who can clearly and succinctly express themselves. I seriously doubt that courses in creative writing will provide students with that wherewithal.
Journalists are criticized for being mental lightweights. But they are successful in making sense of even the most arcane subject. I attribute their ability to do so by having their writing scrutinized by their editors. When I was working on my M.S. in journalism from UCLA, I learned how to take even the most complex subject and make sense of it for readers through constant practice followed by immediate feedback.
Creative writing certainly has its place. But if the goal is to prepare students for the job market, it will not be seen as an asset.
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