Campus News

National Commission Calls for "Writing Revolution"

Story posted April 25, 2003

April 25, 2003 -- The National Commission on Writing in America's Schools and Colleges - of which Bowdoin College President Barry Mills is a charter member - called for a "writing revolution" today when it released its report "The Neglected 'R'" at the annual meeting of the Education Writers of America in Chicago.

The Commission, made up of university leaders, public school superintendents, and teachers, and assisted by an advisory panel of writing experts, stressed that most American students must improve writing to meet demands of college success and career.

Among the panel's key recommendations are that the amount of time and money devoted to student writing must be dramatically increased in school districts throughout the country, and state and local curriculum guidelines must require writing in every curriculum at all grade levels. The panel further recommends that educators also must engage the private sector in developing ways to apply technology to the teaching and assessment of writing.

The report calls for the immediate launch of a five-year implementation campaign, the Writing Challenge to the Nation, which will be led by former Senator Bob Kerrey, current president of New School University in New York City, former governor of Nebraska, and accomplished author.

For a PDF of the full report "The Neglected 'R': The Need for a Writing Revolution," or for the full press release issued today by the Writing Commission, visit the Writing Commission's Web site at

Read the Associated Press story on

The National Commission on Writing in America's Schools and Colleges was formed in August 2002 in an effort to focus national attention on the teaching and learning of writing. It is charged with defining and reaffirming the essential role of writing in education and making recommendations on how students, their families, schools, colleges and universities can improve the quality of writing in the United States.

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