National Writing Project

National Writing Project Announces Plans for National Evaluation

Four-year study to be conducted by SRI International

For Immediate Release


BERKELEY, CA, December 5, 2006 – The National Writing Project (NWP) today announced that it has contracted with SRI International in Menlo Park, California, to conduct a four-year evaluation of writing project professional development activities. In response to a request by the U.S. Department of Education for a national evaluation, this study will use both quantitative and qualitative methods to assess differences in student achievement and teacher practice between schools participating in NWP professional development partnerships and comparison schools. In addition, the study will focus on the nature of professional development partnerships and how they respond to local conditions and needs, as well as the complexities and challenges of implementing them.

"This is a wonderful moment for the writing project," said executive director Richard Sterling. "We will learn a great deal from this study. The focus on local school-based professional development and its impact on the teaching of writing and student learning is central to our work."

According to Sterling, professional development in the teaching of writing is a complex undertaking, particularly when it concentrates on improving students' learning opportunities as well as their writing performance. Thus, lessons learned about professional development in this context will be useful to colleagues in the field as well as to policymakers.


The National Writing Project is a nationwide network of educators working together to strengthen writing instruction in America's schools. Prior independent evaluation efforts have found that students in the classrooms of NWP teachers make significant gains in writing achievement.

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