Cutting writing tests to save money

The Chicago Tribune reports on Illinois’ plan to cut down on state writing tests for 2010-2011 to save $3.5 million. From the article:

[L]ate last month, the Illinois State Board of Education decided to eliminate the writing exam given to students in grades three, five, six and eight for the 2010-11 school year.

The 11th grade writing test still will be given because some universities require a writing exam of applicants, said state board spokesman Matt Vanover.

I wonder if this is a cut intended to draw outrage from citizens…who might then be willing to pay more toward education.

Additionally, federal statutes focus on reading and math and do not require a writing test. The article also notes that Illinois’ writing scores are typically poor.