Words on Paper

By Nina Hurwitz and Sol Hurwitz

After years of being sidelined, student writing shows signs of moving to the center of the education policy agenda. Increasingly, decision makers are recognizing that effective writing is fundamental to learning and communication and therefore vital to success in education and the workplace. But the federal No Child Left Behind Act's stringent mandates for testing in reading and math are creating a serious shortage of time and resources for teaching writing. What's more, if the ability to write clearly and correctly is the hallmark of an educated person, recent data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and other groups depict nothing less than a writing crisis in the nation's classrooms: 

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