Student Writing: Strategies to Reverse Ongoing Decline
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A writer is a person for whom writing is
more difficult than it is for other people.
Declining writing ability has been a mounting concern for those involved in secondary and higher education. Some believe the quality of student writing is worse than ever before, while others question whether a “golden age” of academic excellence truly ever existed. Unfortunately, a slew of empirical studies conducted over the past thirty years have provided ample evidence that those who believe that writing continues to decline are indeed correct. In the early nineties, the National Association of Educational Progress (NAEP) conducted the first national assessment of writing portfolios gathered from students around the country. The NAEP’s findings were strong enough for Gary W. Phillips, associate commissioner at the National Center for Educational Statistics, to conclude that “the moral of the story is that the writing is not very good in the nation. Even the best is...