SRI Authors: Nicole Arshan, C.J. Park
Arshan, N. L., Park, C. J., & Gallagher, H. A. (2019). Evaluation of National Writing Project’s College-Ready Writer’s Program 2015 SEED grant: Technical report. SRI International.
The National Writing Project’s (NWP) College, Career, and Community Writers Program (C3WP) provides professional development for teachers in Grades 7–10 with the goal of improving students’ source-based argument writing. C3WP aims to build teachers’ understanding of and skill in teaching argument writing. C3WP was subject to a prior rigorous evaluation, which found that 2 years of C3WP had a positive impact on writing outcomes for students in Grades 7-10 in high-need, rural districts (Gallagher et al., 2017). C3WP was formerly called the College-Ready Writers Program (CRWP). In 2015, with the support of a Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) grant, the National Writing Project sought to extend the reach of the program to nonrural contexts and to examine the efficacy of a short-cycle version of the program. The SEED grant also supported researchers at SRI Education to conduct an independent evaluation (a within-teacher randomized controlled trial) designed to examine both program implementation and the impact of the program on teachers’ instructional practices and student learning. This report presents the results of the short-cycle impact analysis that focused on 7th and 8th grade English Language Arts (ELA) teachers in high-needs districts. The technical report begins with a discussion of the C3WP program components and intended outcomes. Then, it describes the research design including a discussion of recruitment and randomization; site, teacher, class, and student samples; and data and methods. Finally, the report provides findings related to program implementation, teacher practice outcomes, and student learning outcomes. Ultimately, we find that the short-cycle implementation of C3WP had positive and statistically significant impacts on a measure of student writing achievement.