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Abstract

This article describes a two-year university and school district collaboration to provide English/language arts teachers of grades 5, 8, and 12 with long-term professional development and follow-up support. The Writing Leadership Project, initiated to help teachers meet demands of high-stakes writing assessment, was designed to improve writing instruction and develop peer leaders. Based upon analysis of teacher surveys and participant interviews as well as analysis of results in on-demand writing tests that are part of the state’s accountability testing system, this partnership produced the following positive outcomes: 1) improvement of teachers’ knowledge and skills in best practice writing instruction, 2) increase in participants’ confidence to serve as writing mentors, 3) gains in students’ writing achievement scores, 4) improved retention of writing teachers, and 5) establishment of a collegial university-school district network to continue collaboration and research in effective writing strategies.

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