National Writing Project

Writing: A Powerful Message from State Government

Date: July 2005

Summary: In its latest report, the National Commission on Writing finds state governments place a high value on the writing skills of their employees, often providing training for professional employees deficient in writing skills.

 

The National Commission on Writing for America's Families, Schools, and Colleges, which published the landmark report The Neglected "R," focuses on state governments in its third report, Writing: A Powerful Message from State Government.

According to the commission, state governments' professional employees are often deficient in writing skills, and it costs taxpayers nearly a quarter of a billion dollars annually to provide writing training for them.

Based on a National Governors Association survey of 49 of 50 state human resource directors, Writing: A Powerful Message from State Government finds at least two-thirds of professional employees at the state level have some writing responsibility. The report concludes that writing is an even more important job requirement for state employees than for the private-sector employees studied in the commission's previous survey of major U.S. corporations.

Excerpt from Report

Clear communication is an essential government function in democratic society. Because writing is how agencies communicate with each other and their constituencies, all of us have a stake in the clarity and accuracy of government writing.
-Bob Kerrey, chair of the National Commission on Writing, July 2005

For more, read Writing: A Powerful Message from State Government (PDF). The National Commission on Writing for America's Families, Schools, and Colleges has published four reports, all of which are available here.

PDF Download "A Powerful Message from State Government"

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