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ERIC Number: ED494608
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 36
Abstractor: ERIC
The State of Writing Instruction in America's Schools: What Existing Data Tell Us
Applebee, Arthur N.; Langer, Judith A.
Center on English Learning & Achievement (NJ3)
This study examined student writing over the past decades. The National Study of Writing Instruction addressed questions through analyses of existing data sets, particularly those from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), which include background questions on instructional practices in U.S. middle and high schools. NAEP assessments in all subject areas ask a series of background questions completed by administrators, teachers, and students about key features of the school, classroom curriculum and instruction, home and community background, and teachers' preparation. These data offer an opportunity to examine the kinds of writing experiences and instruction being offered to varying populations of students and to relate these to student performance. Long-term trend data for both writing and reading show a remarkable stability in levels of achievement over time. Despite small ups and downs, by and large, student writing proficiency has kept steady. Gaps between more-advantaged and less-advantaged students also continue, even with a slight upturn in writing achievement between 1998 and 2002 at Grades 4 and 8. Results indicate large-scale studies of schools across the country are needed to answer questions and lay out a national agenda for writing instruction, one that ensures all students are being prepared to write well. (Contains 36 figures.)
Center on English Learning & Achievement. University at Albany-B9, 1400 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12222. Tel: 518-442-5026; Fax: 518-442-5933; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Research Center on English Learning and Achievement, Albany, NY.; National Writing Project, Berkeley, CA.; College Board, New York, NY.
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A