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Is writing the key?

November 3, 2010
In the November issue of The American School Board Journal, Douglas Reeves notes,, “There are no silver bullets in education. But writing – particularly nonfiction writing – is about as close as you can get to a single strategy that has significant and positive effects in nearly every other area of the curriculum. Nonfiction writing is the backbone of a successful literacy and student achievement strategy.” This results in improvements in writing that  lead to gains in reading comprehension, math, science, and social studies.
According to Dr. Reeves, the results of an insufficient focus on writing K-12 are well known in colleges (large numbers of students need remedial courses) and the workplace ($3 billion a year is spent bucking up the writing skills of new employees). The writing gap can be traced back to the early grades, where phonics-based reading programs tend to build fluency but not deeper comprehension. “Reading quickly and clearly is nice,” says Reeves, “but hardly an accomplishment when students do not understand the information they are reading.”
As Michigan along with many other states eliminate writing from their state mandated assessments…. the question is will the lack of emphasis on writing have a significant impact on student learning?
One Comment leave one →
  1. November 26, 2010 8:47 am

    Here is an interesting post by Mike Schmoker about tips for teachers called “Write more, Grade less” about the writing process in school.

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