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After 20 years of nation-wide literacy reforms only one third of America's students perform at or above grade level on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) writing assessment. Policies such as NCLB (2002) that focused on reading achievement have done little to raise scores on this national assessment of students writing progress (National Center for Educational Statistics, 1999, 2011). With 90% of American jobs now requiring higher level literacy skills (Darling-Hammond, Barron, Pearson, & Schoenfeld, 2008), most states have adopted new standards that are designed to ratchet up rigor in order to put American students on a trajectory to meet the demands of a college educated work force. The level of writing called for in the Common Core State Standards (2010) is so ambitious that it calls into question whether teachers are confident and able to lead students toward meeting these new demands.

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This document was originally published in Teaching/Writing: The Journal of Writing Teacher Education by ScholarWorks at WMU. Copyright restrictions may apply.