If there's a subject in which I believe my 2nd grade daughter to be way above grade level, it's in writing. I believe this because she spends hours and hours of her free time inventing and writing down story after story after story, producing such gems as:
In the tunnle glowing lights shimered on the ceiling. It was blue. The wind was cool. It was like a cristal cave.At school, however, where she's required to stick to nonfiction accounts of her personal life, she tends to produce stuff more like the following:
I went to my grandparents house. We drove there. It took a very long time to get there. I broget my doll there. When we got there I looked around the house for some paper.A generation ago, when students were graded only on penmanship, spelling, grammar, and punctuation, this would have been fine. But today's "proficient" and "advanced" writing standards require students to "use descriptive words" that "paint pictures in people's heads."