The march of technology into the classroom continues. Next thing we know, no more books; teachers’ dirty looks will be delivered via Skype.

Anyway, a researcher from the University of Delaware is testing a program that grades the essays of elementary school students and spits out a numerical score. Algorithms examine 500 variables and measure style, word choice, sentence structure, spelling, grammar, etc.

Funny thing, the kids seem to love getting instant feedback from an impartial machine.

Back in the day newspapers horsed around with using a similar tool to analyze their scribes’ weighty tomes, trying to improve “readability.” Most of those efforts died because …

A prize hire’s tender feelings might be hurt.

In other cases, editors didn’t want to hear that their pet’s writing skills were roughly on par with the Unibomber’s.

Now newspapers can’t afford to chase every fad. They can’t even afford a coffee pot for the newsroom, so nonsense like this is gone. Every reporter is expected to first be a blogger.

And we know an orange cat can do that.

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