National Writing Project

Writing Project Sites Involved in School and Districts Honored by Department of Education

By: NWP Staff
Publication: The Voice, Vol. 7, No. 3
Date: May-June 2002

Summary: Two districts and a school honored with the U.S. Department of Education's National Awards for Professional Development have strong ties to writing project sites.

 

Education Secretary Rod Paige recently announced the names of two schools and three school districts honored with the U.S. Department of Education's National Awards for Professional Development. Starlight Elementary School in Watsonville, California, the North Kansas City (Missouri) School District, and the North Nodaway School District (Missouri) were among those recognized. National Writing Project sites have connections to all three.

The Central California Writing Project (CCWP) has been working with teachers from Starlight Elementary since 1985, says CCWP co-director Susan Freeman. CCWP fellows have created innovative approaches to the teaching of kindergarten through fifth grade expository and narrative writing at Starlight, she says, while becoming leaders in writing assessment. Prairie Lands Writing Project (Missouri) teacher-consultant Judy Crane was instrumental in developing North Nodaway School District's professional development program. And finally, the Greater Kansas City Writing Project (Missouri) has a number of teacher-consultants who work with the North Kansas City School District and serve on the district's staff development committee.

To be recognized by the Department of Education, schools and districts had to show that their professional develoment programs result in improved teacher effectiveness and student learning and are consistent with principles based on the best available research and exemplary practice. "Using comprehensive, research-based strategies . . . is a wise investment," said Paige. "The programs being honored demonstrate how well-trained teachers will help to ensure that no child is left behind."

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