LDF SLIDE 1: What’s new in NWP Research and EvaluationGood morning!I am here to highlight the work that we have done as a network over the past 8 years to address one of the major challenges on the education landscape:Producing evidence that shows the world that the National Writing Project makes a difference for students as well as teachers.
LDF SLIDE 3: NWP RESULTS ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDIESBeginning in 2003 – 2004, with leadership from Paul LeMahieu, the network began learning together how to address this challenge using a writing project approach. Together we launched the Local Site Research Initiative, what we refer to as LSRI. Almost nine years later, the LSRI studies have provided a solid base of evidence that Writing Project professional development makes a difference for both teachers AND students! Without these studies and the incredible work of the site directors, teacher consultants, and collaborating statisticians, NWP could not have been eligible to apply for either the i3 or Title II competitions, that Judy and Sharon have just described.FADE IN IMAGE OF THE RESEARCH BRIEFBy now all of you have seen the triangle chart from the NWP research brief.Simply put the LSRI studies show student results are consistent, strong, and favorable.This is especially true in those aspects of writing that the NWP is best known for, such as development of ideas, organization, and stance. And, students in Writing Project classrooms gained more often than their peers in the area of conventions, suggesting that basic skills also benefit from the NWP approach to teaching writing (NWP, 2010).And, virtually all of the LSRI studies focus on teachers and schools who served concentrations of high-need students.Collectively the work of LSRI sites helps show the world that the Writing Project works.
LDFSLIDE 5: Analytic Writing Continuum Assessment SystemThrough LSRI we learned that the quality of existing writing assessments is variable at best. So, the National Writing Project also developed a high-quality system for scoring student writing. Some might even say that it is the “gold standard” of writing assessment.Originally based on 6+1 Traits, the Analytic Writing Continuum assigns 6 analytic and 1 holistic score.Provides highly reliable data with overall interrater reliability of 0.91 and incredible consistency across timeWhy is the quality so high? We rely on the experts for scoring: Writing Project Teacher Consultants!The AWC serves as a useful tool for studying the impact of the writing project.In addition, teacher-consultants and sites have adapted the system to support student and teacher learning about writing assessment. Since we first developed the AWC, 24 sites have participated in projects to use the AWC for professional development and inquiry.As we look to the future, we are collaborating with MIT to create a web-based platform so that we can engaged teachers in virtual scoring sessions as well as face-to-face scoring.
LDF SLIDE 6: CONTINUING IMPORTANCE OF RESEARCHSo what is on the national horizon for research and the NWP?In late October, Ed Week pointed to a bi-partisan consensus that links Federal educational discretionary spending – like i3 and the Title II SEED funding – to the results of experimental and quasi-experimental studies of impact on student outcomes.We also know that private funders also look at the What Works Clearinghouse to find “gold standard” research about projects they might fund in education. So we see that we will continue working together to do great work and to produce research that helps us show the world that NWP works.
Yes, we need to acknowledge that shift happens.
But there’s another kind of shift, one where we can be responsive. The road is still the road, uphill, curvey, or straight and narrow. But we can shift too. So in these talks you might have heard some sense of the shift we are making as a network
from a network built on the processes of our grant awards to a network built on affiliations (re- up idea) where each writing project has greater determination over and responsibility for its future...
Because writing matters
2011 NWP Annual Meeting Morning Plenary
“Big Ideas” from Morning Strategic Planning Groups
In the face of austerity and dwindling supportfor the teaching profession we collaborate withnew and existing partners, re-envisioning ourgoals and mission to support the teachers andstudents for whom this project was created anddo so with efficiency and creativity.
How do we sustain existing relationships andcontinue to build new ones in service to ourcommonly held principles?
ISI is the heart of our program—buildingleadership, new knowledge (commoncore, digital literacies, attracting newparticipants, etc.). What happens when wechange it?
NWP can sustain itself without sacrificing itscore values when sites share ideas with eachother about how to navigate changes in theeducational and economic landscape.
How do we stay true to our core values whilereinventing ourselves?
Q: How do we sustain/develop programs withintegrity in an era of diminishing/no funds. Ittakes money to make money.A: A shift in perspective: Sustaining the ISIthrough continuity and community programs asan investment enterprise.
Together, embrace a growth mindset usingrhetorically sophisticated dialogues with keyconstituents to increase visibility in order toprovide profitable, innovative programsgrounded in NWP principles.
How do we create strategies for making ourwork more visible and marketable to multipleaudiences?
How do we preserve our NWP identity in workwith teachers and students while diversifyingfunding sources?
•How do we keep the core values of NWP aliveand step outside the box to reinvent ourselveswithout funding and/or support?•And how do we sustain it once we figure it out?•And make visible our success stories?
How do we define, support, and empower TCsto communicate a writing project stance in anera of top-down mandates?
How can we collaborate assavvy, pragmatic, principled, and politicalactivists on behalf of inquiry-based educationwhile staying true to our mission?
How do we sustain what’s essential in anew, dynamic landscape?
•We need to create new ways to strategicallydevelop programs and partnerships that bestmeet the needs of our service area withoutcompromising NWP principles.•The need is great but the sources are out there.•We will focus on what we have rather thanwhat we’ve lost or don’t have.
U.S. Department of Education Title II Teacher Quality Program set-aside (Nov 2011) “Supporting Effective Educator Development Grant Program (SEED)” Grants scheduled to be announced in Jan 2012
ESEA Reauthorization and FY2012 Budget ESEA reauthorization is in process. Senate version includes a competitive funding stream for “Programs of National Significance.” Senate version includes a proposal for a 5% set-aside of Title II funds for the next SEED competition. House version eliminates 1% set-aside of Title II funds.
Analytic Writing Continuum Assessment System Assigns analytic and holistic scores Provides reliable data Relies on teacher consultants’ expertise Supports ongoing research about NWP’s impact Used by teacher-consultants and sites for teaching, professional development and inquiry
Continuing Importance of ResearchIncreased emphasis on experimental studies inguiding federal discretionary spending Source: ESEA Draft Ramps Up Role of Education Research, Education Week, October 24, 2011
NWP is committed to workingto support fundraising efforts across the network.
Why Do People Give? In good times and bad, we know that people give because your work meets their needs, not because you have needs. Donors don’t give to institutions. They invest in ideas and people in whom they believe. It is the job of people who work in foundations to give away money. It is our job to ask.
Isabel Allende"It is absurd to imagine that any child will be ableto earn a living, let alone contribute to resolving ourworlds complex problems, without knowing how toread and write. My foundationsupports the National Writing Projectso that teachers can be more effectivein their efforts to improve literacy forall students.”
Individual Giving is 73% of Total Giving USA: Total 2010 Contributions