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Like reading, writing is a core humanistic competency measured by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). The exam assesses students’ ability to explain, persuade, or convey an experience to an audience.

I-04a: Writing Achievement of Fourth, Eighth, and 12th Graders, 1998–2007

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* The percentage of students scoring at or above this level on the NAEP exam is statistically significantly different (p < .05) from that for the most recent year for which assessment data are presented here.
** The NAEP writing assessment was not administered to fourth graders in 2007.

Source: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, The Nation's Report Card: Writing 2002, NCES 2003-529 (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2003), 21, table 2.1; and U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, The Nation's Report Card: Writing 2007, NCES 2008-468 (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2008), 9 fig. 3, 37 fig. 20.

Since 1969, the NAEP has evaluated fourth-, eighth- and 12th-grade students’ writing achievement on the basis of their responses to standardized prompts. The NAEP writing scores are reported here by achievement level. For an explanation of the achievement scale and detailed information about the writing competencies associated with each achievement level, see http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/writing/achieve.aspx. The 2011 NAEP writing assessment was based on a redesigned framework that defines writing as “a complex, multifaceted, and purposeful act of communication that is accomplished in a variety of environments, under various constraints of time, and with a variety of language resources and technological tools.”* In keeping with this definition, all assessment tasks specified both a definite purpose for the writing and a specific audience the writing should address. The framework, questions, and scoring scales for the writing assessment were revised, and the examination was administered for the first time on computer. Due to these changes to the assessment, 2011 results cannot be meaningfully compared to those from previous years. Thus the Humanities Indicators presents results for 2011 separately from those for earlier assessments. Barring additional fundamental changes to the testing instrument, the results of future assessments will be compared with the 2011 results. While this indicator provides a general picture, the NAEP Data Explorer (NDE) permits more detailed analyses of these data by gender, ethnicity, and a number of other key variables. With this tool one can also obtain results of recent writing assessments for individual states and compare them with student outcomes in other parts of the country. For both an overview of NDE and tips for its effective use, see http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/ndehelp/tutorial/lesson1.asp. NDE itself is located at http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/naepdata/. * U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, The Nation’s Report Card: Writing 2011: National Assessment of Educational Progress at Grades 8 and 12, NCES 2012-470 (Washington, DC: U.S Department of Education, 2012), 4, http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/pdf/main2011/2012470.pdf.

I-04b: Writing Achievement of Eighth and 12th Graders as Measured by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 2011*

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* The NAEP writing assessment was not administered to fourth graders in 2011. Percentages for each grade may not sum to 100 due to rounding.

Source: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, The Nation's Report Card: Writing 2011: National Assessment of Educational Progress at Grades 8 and 12, NCES 2012-470 (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, 2012), 10 fig. 1, 28 fig. 17, http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/pdf/main2011/2012470.pdf.

Since 1969, the NAEP has evaluated fourth-, eighth- and 12th-grade students’ writing achievement on the basis of their responses to standardized prompts. The NAEP writing scores are reported here by achievement level. For an explanation of the achievement scale and detailed information about the writing competencies associated with each achievement level, see http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/writing/achieve.aspx. The 2011 NAEP writing assessment was based on a redesigned framework that defines writing as “a complex, multifaceted, and purposeful act of communication that is accomplished in a variety of environments, under various constraints of time, and with a variety of language resources and technological tools.”* In keeping with this definition, all assessment tasks specified both a definite purpose for the writing and a specific audience the writing should address. The framework, questions, and scoring scales for the writing assessment were revised, and the examination was administered for the first time on computer. Due to these changes to the assessment, 2011 results cannot be meaningfully compared to those from previous years. Thus the Humanities Indicators presents results for 2011 separately from those for earlier assessments. Barring additional fundamental changes to the testing instrument, the results of future assessments will be compared with the 2011 results. While this indicator provides a general picture, the NAEP Data Explorer (NDE) permits more detailed analyses of these data by gender, ethnicity, and a number of other key variables. With this tool one can also obtain results of recent writing assessments for individual states and compare them with student outcomes in other parts of the country. For both an overview of NDE and tips for its effective use, see http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/ndehelp/tutorial/lesson1.asp. NDE itself is located at http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/naepdata/. * U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, The Nation’s Report Card: Writing 2011: National Assessment of Educational Progress at Grades 8 and 12, NCES 2012-470 (Washington, DC: U.S Department of Education, 2012), 4, http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/pdf/main2011/2012470.pdf.

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