In the News: Few American Students Write Proficiently

Only one-third of eighth-grade students and one-quarter of high-school seniors in the United States write proficiently, according to the results of a nationwide test released this week. The test, federally administered in 2007, shows modest gains in the writing skills of low-performing students since the last time a similar examination was given in 2002. The skills of high-performing eighth- and 12 th-graders, however, remained flat. Girls outperformed boys at both grade levels, while New Jersey and Connecticut were the two top-performing states, with over half their students demonstrating proficiency. Despite the results, authorities at the National Assessment of Educational Progress – the board that oversees the test – praised the slight gains given recent indicators suggesting a decline in Americans’ writing abilities.

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