Friday, March 28, 2014

College-Ready Writing is an Achievable Goal

I’m sure you know how sometimes someone can say just that thing that clicks and changes the way you see and do everything. I had such an encounter early in my teaching career. We were in the beginning of a five-year curriculum revision cycle (my first), and my then-English department chair casually observed that there was a difference between giving a writing assignment and teaching writing.

Not all writing instruction is created equal, however, and I found myself nodding like a bobblehead while reading this article in Ed Week/Teacher. 

In a study just published in the School Psychology Review, researchers Gary A. Trioa and Natalie G. Olinghouse summarize these essential evidence-based practices for teaching writing, including: daily writing practice, strategy instruction, self-regulation and meta-cognitive reflection (as in the Self-Regulated Strategy Development approach), peer collaboration, and regular feedback through formative assessment. Unfortunately, the study concludes that most schools do not have sufficiently comprehensive, sustained, and focused systems [emphasis mine] for offering professional development to teachers to support such writing practices.

A “comprehensive, sustained, and focused system” of writing instruction is precisely what College and Career Readiness: Writing offers. We know that a change in method and intent is not a superficial thing, and any call for teachers and students to work differently and for different ends must come with an offer of assistance. And we are here—ready, willing, and able to help you make that challenging transition.

Photo by Amrbo Courtesy of

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