Computers can find a good Greek restaurant, recognize a song on the radio, and beat our best players at Jeopardy. But can they grade our kids' writing? A wide-ranging new analysis suggests that the answer is "yes," USA Today reports. The study of automated computer essay-scoring software finds that a handful of programs are "capable of producing scores similar to human scores" on thousands of sample essays. The findings come at a crucial time for U.S. students, especially high schoolers. Under new academic standards, students must produce billions of words over the next few years. But whether teachers will embrace...

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