National Writing Project

About Local Site Research Initiative

The Local Site Research Initiative (LSRI) stimulated and supported locally defined and locally responsive research efforts while adding to national knowledge about the impact of writing project practices on student performance in writing.

The LSRI aimed to create a national base of knowledge about the efficacy of the NWP's professional development model and its impact on professional practice and student outcomes.


Five goals formed the backdrop for the Local Site Research Initiative and informed sites' studies of student and teacher outcomes:

  • To document the impact of writing project efforts on student outcomes, particularly student learning
  • To inform the professional development community about the efficacy of the model and equip it to create and implement more effective professional development
  • To explore the importance of writing in the curriculum, both as the focus of learning and as a tool for learning
  • To explore the ways in which the NWP model and support structures develop, nurture, and utilize teachers as leaders
  • To educate the policy community about the policies and organizational contexts and structures that support high-quality and effective professional development.


The Local Site Research Initiative was part of a research agenda exploring the impact of NWP's work. This agenda, shaped by writing project leaders, independent researchers, as well as the U.S. Department of Education and other funders, allowed NWP to document the impact of the investment in the NWP, make its work more effective, and help colleagues within the profession learn from NWP practices.

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