National Writing Project

National Writing Project Awarded Spencer Foundation Grant

Date: October 5, 2015

Summary: Through a grant from the Spencer Foundation, the National Writing Project (NWP) is developing the Civically Engaged Writing Analysis Continuum (CEWAC), a writing rubric that assesses youth's ability to engage in argument, critique and use evidence, enter productive civic conversations, and take action both in and out of school.

 

Today's academic standards emphasize the importance of assessing young people's ability to write evidence-based arguments as they engage in the digital world and prepare for college, career, and lifelong civic engagement. Through a new research grant, the National Writing Project (NWP) will develop the Civically Engaged Writing Analysis Continuum (CEWAC), a writing rubric that will assess youth's ability to engage in argument, critique and use evidence, enter productive civic conversations, and take action both in and out of school.

The two-year project, part of the Spencer Foundation's Civic Measures initiative, is funded by a $399,736 grant.

CEWAC will measure five attributes of civically-engaged writing: establishing a position; evaluating source credibility; engaging multiple perspectives; employing engaged, inclusive, and civil discourse; and articulating action. During the development process, NWP is drafting a rubric based on research literature and interviews with civic engagement experts, including teachers; selecting papers that exemplify these standards; designing processes for preparing teachers to use CEWAC; and testing CEWAC's validity and reliability using qualitative and quantitative methods. This project ultimately aims to provide a system for assessing the impact of civic education programs and for engaging teachers in using CEWAC to assess students' writing, shape assignments, reflect on practice, and articulate expectations for youth's civic engagement.

© 2018 National Writing Project