National Writing Project

Evaluation Figures Show Steady Growth, Stability of Writing Project Network

By: NWP Staff
Publication: The Voice, Vol. 8, No. 2
Date: March-April 2003

Summary: Inverness Research Associates, NWP's independent evaluator, has released site profile data for 2001-2002. The data reflect the steady growth and development of the NWP network, with writing project sites offering more than 6,000 programs in 2001-02.

 

Inverness Research Associates has released its 2001-02 site profile data for the National Writing Project, and, as in years past, the figures reflect steady growth and development of NWP's local sites. Writing project sites offered more than 6,000 programs in the academic year 2001-02, an 11 percent increase over 2000-01 and nearly twice the number of programs offered by sites just eight years ago.

Numbers for inservice and continuity programs also were up last year, reflecting the increased emphasis site directors have placed on those programs. Local writing project sites offered 3,245 inservice programs and 1,965 continuity programs in 2001-02, respective increases of 29 and 35 percent over the previous year. A total of 2,783 individual schools were served by NWP inservices, institutes, and partnerships in 2001-02.

Not surprisingly, NWP's total program hours increased as well, with sites offering 101,055 hours of programming in 2001-02. (See figure 1, page 7.) This represents a 3 percent increase over the previous year and an 81 percent increase since the project first began tracking such hours in 1994. A total of 94,962 educators participated in NWP programs last year, with 12,458 teacher-leaders active at local sites. Figures in both of these categories have remained steady over the past four years.

NWP remains one of the nation's most cost-effective education programs, with local sites raising an average of $4.62 for every $1 they receive in federal funding. The writing project's federal cost per contact hour was $1.77 in 2001-02.

Inverness Research Associates President Mark St. John says that the consistency of NWP's numbers over time speaks to the stability of the program. He's also quick to point out that an investment in the writing project is one that pays off over time. As sites develop their cadre of teacher-leaders, they are able to offer more programs and reach more educators. Of the 6,114 programs offered by NWP sites in 2001-02, for example, 68 percent were offered by the 84 NWP sites that are more than 15 years old.


Figure 1- NWP's program hours over the last eight years


All of the data collected by Inverness will be of use in the months ahead, as writing project directors work to build increased capacity at local sites, better understand the development of sites, and make the case for continued federal investment in the writing project.

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