The act of writing allows us to communicate thoughts and ideas across time and space. And in a learning context, writing can provide powerful boosts to reading comprehension, analytical thinking, and learning in general.
Yet, only 27% of eighth- and 12th-graders scored “proficient” or above in writing in 2011, an even lower proficiency rate than the one for reading. And since the National Assessment of Educational Progress won’t assess middle- and high-school writing again until 2030, we won’t be able to see the effects of the pandemic on students’ writing skills at the national level for years to come. But if we assume that writing scores track below reading scores, we can assume that the effects are significant, and not in a good way. We need to find new ways to improve students’ writing.