The "writing revolution" may be on its way. But for some parents, it's not coming fast enough.
As a parent, I read Peg Tyre's article "The Writing Revolution" with particular interest. My husband and I moved to an affluent community in Lower Fairfield County, Connecticut, in part because we heard it had a strong public school system. However, we've been disappointed by the low level of writing instruction delivered there. We believe it leaves children unprepared for the kinds of writing required in today's office environment.
I have an MBA and was a turnaround corporate and real estate banker for over 23 years. My husband also has an MBA and is a senior-level manager in the financial services industry. What we've both seen, in the course of our careers, is that good writing matters. While the weak writers may get hired -- job interviews rarely require a writing sample -- once the candidates get the job, they don't tend to go far. Soon after they start work, they are asked to prepare a presentation or simply send an email. Then, the trouble begins.
Writing longer pieces -- presentations, for example -- only confirms the negative impression weak writers make in the workplace. While they might be very intelligent, their inability to clearly and concisely advocate their position on paper completely undermines their reputation. As a result, others become reluctant to have them on their team. Even individuals in verbally focused careers such as sales need to write pitches and send frequent follow-up correspondence.