Since the Scriven Report, over 250 independent evaluation and research studies have entered NWP’s archives covering everything from the impact of NWP leadership development institutes to professional development programs to the reliability and validity of NWP scoring services.
Independent randomized control trials have demonstrated the effectiveness of NWP’s national programs such as the College, Career, and Community Writing Program as well as the Pathway Program, designed by the UC Irvine Writing Project and now entered into the Department of Education’s What Works Clearinghouse.
Customized programs developed by local Writing Project sites have also been studied through NWP’s Local Site Research Initiative.
Across 16 independent LSRI studies of seven dimensions of writing performance, researchers found that students of NWP teachers outperformed their non-NWP counterparts in 103 of 112 contrasts. These findings—overwhelmingly positive results favoring NWP, and the fact that in no case did the comparison group significantly outperform students in NWP—point to the effectiveness of NWP professional development.
These individual studies present a powerful case for the potential of NWP professional development programs to impact teacher practice and resulting student performance, but they do not tell the whole story. Throughout its history, NWP has benefited from the insights of longtime collaborators such as Inverness Research, whose decades-long studies of NWP as an “improvement infrastructure” have influenced groups as diverse as the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Learning Policy Institute.