What do the results from the writing test from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), better known as the Nation’s Report Card, tell us?
Students were asked to perform writing tasks in three areas:
- To persuade, trying to change the reader’s point of view;
- To explain, trying to broaden a reader’s understanding of a topic
- To convey experience, trying to provide an account of a real or imaginary experience to a reader.
- Among eighth-graders, about 3% scored advanced, 24% scored proficient or above, 54% basic, and 20% below basic. (Because the numbers were rounded, they do not add up to 100%).
- Among 12th-graders, about 3% scored advanced, 24% scored proficient or above, 52% basic and 21% below basic.
- The most notable achievement gap was between males and females in both eighth and 12th grades. On average, female students in the eighth grade scored 160; their male counterparts scored 140.
Key Points for School Leaders
- writing improves with practice
- 39% of 12th-graders said they write only one page of homework or less per week in English
- engaging boys in “meaningful” writing as part of the curriculum
- providing all students with opportunities to use computers to write and edit whenever possible