Making Writing Instruction a Priority in America's Middle and High Schools
Sometimes writing is seen as the flip side of reading, and it is assumed that students who are proficient readers will naturally be proficient writers. While reading and writing are complementary skills, students do not become skilled writers without explicit instruction. This policy brief from the Alliance for Excellent Education examines how writing can be taught in secondary schools and how policy can encourage more teachers to undertake writing instruction.
According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, only about a quarter of the nation's middle and high school students are proficient in writing. Even among students who plan to go to college, roughly a third fall short of readiness benchmarks for college-level writing composition. Yet, the ability to write plays an increasingly important role both in the workplace and everyday life, and while previous generations of students might have been able to get by without strong literacy skills, today's adolescents cannot afford to leave high school without being able to write clear, compelling texts, for a variety of purposes and audiences. This policy brief offers a succinct overview of the data on student writing achievement, the need for more and better writing instruction, and a number of ways in which policymakers can support school improvement in this area.Read the policy brief
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