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Standards and Assessment - General Articles on Standards and Assessment

Featured Resources

Is Homework Working?

Phi Delta Kappan, April 2008
Lisa Mangione
Lisa Mangione, a special education teacher and Western New York Writing Project teacher-consultant, examines the usefulness of homework, how it's graded, and whether parents should be involved in helping kids finish it. More ›

Honoring Dialect and Culture: Pathways to Student Success on High-Stakes Writing Assessments

English Journal, March 2007
Michelle Crotteau
When a speaker of Appalachian English fails the state's writing assessment, Michelle Crotteau, a teacher-consultant with the Central Virginia Writing Project, demonstrates that appropriate strategies and respect for home language allows for both authentic writing and successful test preparation. More ›

Statewide and District Professional Development in Standards: Addressing Teacher Equity

National Writing Project at Work, 2006
Richard Koch, Laura Roop, Gail Setter
Koch and Roop present a model of standards-based professional development drawing on their experience developing statewide standards in Michigan. Setter describes the implementation of the model in one school district. More ›

 

Additional Resources

Four Myths About the ELA Common-Core Standards

Education Week, July 2012
Dina Strasser, a former Fulbright Scholar and a teacher-leader with the Genesee Valley Writing Project (New York), along with educator Cheryl Dobbertin, discusses four common "myths" of the ELA Common-Core Standards. More ›

Educators Invited to Respond to Common Core State Standards

March 2010
The public is invited to comment on the first public draft of the Common Core State Standards, which define the knowledge and skills students should have within their K-12 education careers so that they will graduate high school able to succeed in academic college courses and in workforce training programs. More ›

Improving Students' Academic Writing: Developing New Knowledge about Teaching and Assessing for Improvement

January 2010
Jayne Marlink
Jayne Marlink, who directs the California Writing Project, details how an assessment regimen known as "forced choice" gave assessors the language to name the improvements readers experienced when comparing pre- and post- test essays. More ›

Prominent Feature Analysis: What It Means for the Classroom

English Journal, March 2010
Sherry Swain, Richard L. Graves, David Morse
The authors present an argument for and a guide to prominent feature analysis, which, unlike rubric-based scoring that assigns numerical values to abstract concepts, derives numerical values from the presence of rhetorical features. More ›

What Data-Driven Instruction Should Really Look Like

June 2009
Kathie Marshall
Kathie Marshall argues that data-driven instruction should come from groups of teachers working together on research and using data to improve instruction—rather than having data monitored as a way of checking NCLB "compliance." More ›

National Media Turn to NWP for Explanation of Writing Results

April 2008
When results of The Nation's Report Card: Writing 2007 were released on April 3, news outlets from across the country were quick to call NWP to help explain the findings. More ›

Working with a Mandated Curriculum

The Quarterly, 2005
Kelly Lock
Much as we might wish otherwise, teachers seem to be living through an era of mandated pedagogy, much of it inflicted top down and with little thought or preparation. What are teachers charged with carrying out these directives to do? This is the question Kelly Lock tries to answer as her school district orders an abrupt and required change to the writers’ workshop model. More ›

Linking Genre to Standards and Equity

The Quarterly, 2004
Tom Fox
Fox describes the work of teachers who link genre and purpose, bridging the gap between disenfranchised students and schools. More ›

Whose Core Is It?

The Voice, 2004
Christina Puntel
Bilingual elementary school teacher Christina Puntel describes the challenges of adjusting to a city–mandated "core curriculum" that prescribes content structure and student performance standards for the entire year. More ›

Finding the Student in a High-Stakes World: A Challenge for Teachers and Test Makers

The Quarterly, 2003
Glenda Moss
Moss examines some of the unintended consequences of high–stakes testing and describes how she confronted them. More ›

Book Review: (Re)Articulating Writing Assessment for Teaching and Learning, by Brian Huot

The Quarterly, Spring 2003
Douglas James Joyce
Douglas James Joyce reviews (Re)Articulating Writing Assessment for Teaching and Learning by Brian Huot. More ›

Where Does Spite Fit Into the Rubric?

The Quarterly, Fall 2002
Anna Moore
Wondering how—or if—her feelings toward a student should play into an evaluation of the student's grade, author Moore offers readers an honest look at a teacher's struggle. More ›

AP Drama

The Voice, March-April 2002
Marlene Carter
Marlene Carter describes how the day of the AP English Exam at Dorsey High School in Los Angeles offers plenty of drama for students and teachers, even before the exams are handed out. More ›

Redefining Student Success

Turning Points in Teaching: Narrative Reflection on Professional Practice, 2001
Karen Deshon Hamlin
By examining the way two "abused, disengaged and disillusioned" seventh graders relate to and perform on a spelling test, Hamlin finds divergent ways for both students to become increasingly connected to their learning. Hamlin is co-director of the Oregon Writing Project at Willamette University. More ›

Beyond Rhetoric: A Reflective, Persuasive Final Exam for the Workshop Classroom

The Quarterly, Fall 2001
Sarah Lorenz
Lorenz's final exam tests students on their dexterity with persuasive writing by requiring them to write convincingly about the concepts, skills, and attitudes they have acquired in her writing class. More ›

Portfolios That Make a Difference: A Four-Year Journey

The Quarterly, Fall 2001
Judith Ruhana
Middle-school teacher Ruhana began using portfolios in her classroom and gained some valuable insights into her students' abilities. This article is a chapter from the The Whole Story: Teachers Talk About Portfolios. More ›

NWP Evaluation Shows Promising First-Year Results

The Voice, January-February 2001
Roxanne Barber
Early results of NWP's national evaluation are in and they show that students of writing project teachers made significant progress in writing during the first year of the study. More ›

Testing: What Is a Teacher to Do?

The Voice, January-February 2001
Pete Shaheen
Pete Shaheen discusses the current glut of educational testing and argues that instead of ignoring the current trends, writing project teachers need to speak out and become active in the debates if they want to have a say in the future of language arts instruction. More ›

NAEP/NWP Study Shows Link Between Assignments, Better Student Writing

The Voice, March-April 2001
Art Peterson
A recent study by NWP and National Assessment of Educational Progress suggests that the quality of a student's writing may have a lot to do with the quality of the assignment. More ›

NWP Adds Teacher Voices to Standards Debate

The Voice, May-June 2001
Art Peterson
Focus on Standards teachers share some of what they learned during their three-year study on standards. More ›

Struggling Against Culture and Power

The Voice, January-February 2000
Jeannie Oakes
Outreach programs confront powerful cultural forces bent on preserving the status quo. Alone they are unlikely to produce UC student bodies that reflect California's diversity. More ›

NWP Leaders Raise Questions on Standards

The Voice, May-June 2000
Art Peterson
More ›

Mandated Reform vs. Classroom Reality

The Voice, September-October 2000
Joe Check
Joe Check takes a look at some of the issues involved in mandated school reform and advocates that teachers should remain at the center of reform. More ›

On Coaching the Writer

The Quarterly, Spring 2000
Jon Appleby
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Student Slayer: The Imposed Curriculum

The Quarterly, Summer 2000
Kevin Lavey
More ›

Book Reviews: One Size Fits Few, by Susan Ohanian, and Defending Access, by Tom Fox

The Quarterly, Winter 2000
Jayne Marlink
More ›

NWP Responds to NAEP Writing Assessment

The Voice, November-December 1999
More ›

Bring Honor and Meaning to Learning

The Voice, September-October 1999
Jim Burke
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The Standards of Writing Wrong

The Voice, Spring 1999
Susan Swift
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Welcome to Measurement, Inc.

The Quarterly, Summer 1999
David Glovin
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Dancin' Circles

The Voice, Fall 1998
Daniel Ferri
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Toward the Separation of School and State

The Voice, Winter/Spring 1998
Sheridan Blau
More ›

OP 38. School Reform through Examinations: Lessons from the British Experience

National Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy Occasional Paper, 1994
Sarah Warshauer Freedman
Freedman considers the effects of the British examination system on English language and literature learning. She concludes that high-stakes examinations present a flawed foundation on which to build an educational reform movement. More ›

OP 39. Ahead to the Past: Assessing Student Achievement in Writing

National Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy Occasional Paper, 1994
Robert C. Calfee
This paper outlines recent developments in the area of assessment, including standardized achievement tests and alternative forms of assessment such as writing portfolios. More ›

TR 58. Composition in the Context of CAP: A Case Study of the Interplay Between Assessment and School Life

National Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy Technical Report, 1992
Peggy Trump Loofbourrow
This study examines the impact of a large-scale writing assessment on the life of one junior high school, analyzing how teachers and administrators at the school prepared students for this assessment. More ›

High Standards in Writing: The Sagamore Workshop

The Quarterly, Winter 1992
Miles Myers, Daniel P. Resnick
More ›

OP 28. A Social Perspective on Informal Assessment: Voices, Texts, Pictures, and Play from a First Grade

National Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy Occasional Paper, 1991
Anne Haas Dyson, Sarah Merritt
The authors show how a teacher can use the materials produced in a classroom's community to search for clues that clarify how and what children are learning and how teachers might best support that learning. More ›

TR 23. Students' Self-Analyses and Judges' Perceptions: Where Do They Agree?

National Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy Technical Report, May 1989
John Ackerman
This report summarizes student accounts of how they composed a first draft and then compares and contrasts how students and teachers evaluated the same essay. More ›

Toward Ecological Evaluation

The Quarterly, January 1988
Catharine Keech Lucas
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Writing Projects and Writing Assessment

The Quarterly, January 1987
Mary Ann Smith
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Assessment in Context: Toward a National Writing Project Model

The Quarterly, July 1987
Don Gallehr
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Twenty Minutes of Fluency—A Test

The Quarterly, March 1979
James Gray
In 1979, NWP founder James Gray observed that on-demand writing for the College Board's English Achievement Test produced some magnificent student performances, but the twenty-minute time limit prevented most high school seniors from approaching the topic in more than a superficial way. Twenty-six years later, writing assessment in all its variations maintains its prominence in NWP professional development programs, as does the issue of assessment as a learning tool for both teachers and students. Gray noted an important and timeless benefit of being a College Board reader: "...somehow I felt, for those five days at least, that I had my finger on the pulse, that I knew what our students could do, after twelve years of schooling, when asked to write on demand." More ›

Holistic Assessment and Proficiency Testing

The Quarterly, May 1979
Catharine Keech
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Prompt Writing Is Not Impromptu

The Quarterly, May 1979
Marjorie Kirrie
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