National Evaluation of Writing Project Professional Development: Year 3 Report


Gallagher, H. A., Woodworth, K. R., Bosetti, K. R., Cassidy, L., McCaffrey, T., Yee, K., … & Penuel, W. R. (2011). National evaluation of writing project professional development. Menlo Park, CA: SRI International.


The National Writing Project (NWP) is a nationwide network of over 200 university-based sites aimed at improving student writing through teacher professional development. Central to the NWP’s core principles is the understanding that teachers and teachers-leaders are the primary agents for improving writing instruction. In National Writing Project professional development, teachers are prepared to lead their own and their peers’ instructional improvements through experiencing writing themselves, examining theory and research, and reflecting on their current practices in response to new ideas.

The current evaluation, the National Evaluation of Writing Project Professional Development (WPD), focuses on a subset of the professional development offered by Local Writing Project sites: partnerships with schools serving middle grades students (i.e., schools of any grade configuration that includes 7th and 8th grade). Local Writing Project sites have substantial discretion about how to conduct partnership work. In fact, partnership professional development can include all of the types of professional development offered by Local Writing Project sites. However, partnerships are distinct from other NWP professional development in that the Local Writing Project site tailors the program to the specific needs of partner schools, typically offering some events only to staff at the partner school.

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