Writing Skills Of US Students Lacking, Report Indicates

Writing skills of US students are lacking, according to a new report out of the National Assessment of Educational Progress, based on their first ever computer generated writing survey.

Writing skills of US students are not the only things in free-fall, as scores in math and reading have also been falling. But writing skills were for the first time measured on computers with tools including a thesaurus and word processing program for a report known as “The Nation’s Report Card.”

In it, writing skills of US students came in at remarkably under par, after the pupils were provided with information in video and audio segments, news stories, and data, among other media during the most recent spate of testing. The students were assessed based on their ability to “persuade or change the reader’s point of view; explain or expand the reader’s understanding; and convey experience or communicate individual experiences to others.”

David Driscoll, chairman of NAEP’s governing board, commented on the results in which 54 percent of eighth-graders scored “basic,” and more than 20 percent scored “below basic” after the report was released:

“Writing is fundamental to effective communication, especially in an era in which email and other word-processed documents are the norm rather than the exception.”

” … Our nation’s students need to write clearly, logically and accurately. We need to focus on supporting students beyond basic levels so that they have a solid grasp of effective writing skills.”

Driscoll said the report serves as a reminder that writing skills of US students are a cornerstone of academic achievement, as those with insufficient writing skills cannot process and convey information as adequately as their well-written peers.