It’s widely accepted that there is a crisis in reading in this country, but there is also a writing crisis that requires our attention. Regardless of where one stands on the education reform spectrum, we all must do everything possible to find the best, most comprehensive solutions to address this crisis.
According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress,25 percent of students nationwide are writing on grade level, and 3 percent are considered advanced. This suggests that the problem is widespread and more than simply an issue of poverty. We are just not teaching writing in this country.
Indeed, having students write — focusing on the craft of writing by unearthing children’s ideas and having them put these ideas to paper — is not the same as actually teaching writing.
And it’s not the fault of teachers.