U.S. Code, Title 20, Education

Author: "U.S. Congress, Office of the Law Revision Counsel"

Show Summary

§ 8331. Findings

     The Congress finds that—

     (1) the United States faces a crisis in writing in schools and in the workplace;

     (2) the writing problem has been magnified by the rapidly changing student populations and the growing number of at-risk students due to limited English proficiency;

     (3) over the past two decades, universities and colleges across the country have reported increasing numbers of entering freshmen who are unable to write at a level equal to the demands of college work;

     (4) American businesses and corporations are concerned about the limited writing skills of entry-level workers, and a growing number of executives are reporting that advancement was denied to them due to inadequate writing abilities;

     (5) the writing problem has been magnified by the rapidly changing student populations in the Nation’s schools and the growing number of students who are at risk because of limited English proficiency;

     (6) writing and reading are both fundamental to learning, yet writing has been historically neglected in the schools and colleges, and most teachers in the United States elementary schools, secondary schools, and colleges have not been trained to teach writing;

     (7) since 1973, the only national program to address the writing problem in the Nation’s schools has been the National Writing Project, a network of collaborative university-school programs whose goal is to improve the quality of student writing and the teaching of writing at all grade levels and to extend the uses of writing as a learning process through all disciplines;

     (8) the National Writing Project offers summer and school year inservice teacher training programs and a dissemination network to inform and teach teachers of developments in the field of writing;

     (9) the National Writing Project is a nationally recognized and honored nonprofit organization that recognizes that there are teachers in every region of the country who have developed successful methods for teaching writing and that such teachers can be trained and encouraged to train other teachers;

     (10) the National Writing Project has become a model for programs to improve teaching in such other fields as mathematics, science, history, literature, performing arts, and foreign languages;

     (11) the National Writing Project teacher-teaching-teachers program identifies and promotes what is working in the classrooms of the Nation’s best teachers;

     (12) the National Writing Project teacher-teaching-teachers project is a positive program that celebrates good teaching practices and good teachers and through its work with schools increases the Nation’s corps of successful classroom teachers;

     (13) evaluations of the National Writing Project document the positive impact the project has had on improving the teaching of writing, student performance, and student thinking and learning ability;

     (14) the National Writing Project programs offer career-long education to teachers, and teachers participating in the National Writing Project receive graduate academic credit;

     (15) each year over 100,000 teachers voluntarily seek training in National Writing Project intensive summer institutes and workshops and school year in-service programs through one of the 154 regional sites located in 45 States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and in 4 sites that serve United States teachers in United States dependent and independent schools;

     (16) 250 National Writing Project sites are needed to establish regional sites to serve all teachers;

     (17) private foundation resources, although generous in the past, are inadequate to fund all of the National Writing Project sites needed and the future of the program is in jeopardy without secure financial support;

     (18) independent evaluation studies have found the National Writing Project to be highly cost effective compared to other professional development programs for teachers; and

     (19) during 1991, the first year of Federal support for the National Writing Project, the National Writing Project matched the $1,951,975 in Federal support with $9,485,504 in matching funds from State, local, and other sources.

(Pub. L. 89–10, title X, § 10991, as added Pub. L. 103–382, title I, § 101, Oct. 20, 1994, 108 Stat. 3859.)