Teachers and parents alike have voiced concern over whether texting, with its abbreviations, short-cuts, and odd grammar, hurts kids' writing skills. There has been little definitive research on the topic, although surveys of teens suggest that the majority consider text language and written English to be separate forms of communication.
Linguists are divided, with some seeing deterioration in writing skills that they attribute to text and email, and others believing that text messaging constitutes a different form of language. Schools in Australia are actually teaching students about text messaging and comparing its form and structure to written English. Treating texting as a different sort of language, then there can be academic (and practical) benefits to actually studying it: students can learn more about syntax and grammar (and improve their texting at the same time).
Since texting, email, and whatever the next form of electronic communication will be, are not going away, it makes sense to study it, and perhaps teach it (or at least teach about it) in schools.