National Writing Project

National Writing Project Holds Annual Spring Meeting in Nation’s Capital

Teachers Share their Classroom Successes with Members of Congress; Nation’s “Report Card” on Writing Released

For Immediate Release

 

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 3, 2008—More than 330 teachers from around the country gathered here today for the 2008 National Writing Project Spring Meeting to discuss helping young people learn a skill crucial to success in school and life—the ability to write. This group of talented and passionate teachers took their stories to Capitol Hill to share their experiences with their representatives in Congress.

“It is more important than ever that young people master the skill of writing and experience the joy of expressing themselves and shaping a convincing and compelling message or argument. Today, teachers are sharing their passion with one another and elected members of Congress, and we hope their message yields positive change in federal policy that will help teachers to become better instructors of writing and increase student achievement in writing,” said Sharon Washington, Executive Director of the National Writing Project.

The meeting was particularly timely. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) today released The Nation's Report Card: Writing 2007, results from the 2007 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in Writing, the nation's most comprehensive national assessment of student writing skills.

The results show positive gains for students at the eighth and 12th grade levels. The percentage of students performing at or above what NAEP considers the basic level in writing grew to 88% and 82% respectively, increases of 3% and 8%.

“While these results indicate improvement and a very positive narrowing of the achievement gap, much more work remains to be done,” said Washington. “Too few students scored at the top of the chart—the proficient level in writing. We must use these results to identify the most effective instructional practices to achieve that goal.”

The Nation's Report Card: Writing 2007 details the performance of eighth and 12th graders in more than 7,640 schools between January and March 2007. Approximately 140,000 students in grade eight and 27,900 students in grade 12 participated.

 

The National Writing Project is the most significant coordinated effort to improve writing in America. NWP sites, located on nearly 200 university and college campuses, serve more than 135,000 participants annually. NWP continues to add new sites each year with the goal of placing the writing project within reach of every teacher in America. Through its professional development model, NWP develops the leadership, programs, and research needed for teachers to help students become successful writers and learners. For more information, visit www.nwp.org.

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