Using a Developmental Scale to Enhance Reporting of State-Wide, High Stakes Writing Tests
Writing at its best (or worst) may be thought of as thinking on paper. In the classroom, students’ written words reflect (1) their level of understanding of content; (2) insights about the world around them; and (3) their ability to think creatively and critically about problems.
Earlier this year, the National Assessment of Educational Progress released the results of its 2007 national writing test. While the assessment showed modest increases in the writing skills of lower-performing students, it also revealed that only one third of our nation’s eighth-grade students—and less than one-fourth of high school students—are proficient writers. Although these results show improvement since the test was last administered in 2002, they, along with the findings of other influential studies, also show that we still have far to go in helping our students develop the writing skills necessary for academic, career, and personal success.