REPORT ON WRITING PROFICIENCY INITIATIVE

 

2003 Montana/ACT Writing Field Test

 

·         In March of 2003, approximately 4500 students in 89 of Montana’s high schools wrote persuasive essays for the third field test.  Each student wrote for at least 30 minutes on one essay selected from two possible topics. This testing took place in 340 English classrooms.

 

·         123 teachers and professors were trained to use a standardized scoring system (a rubric) for one day, then scored the essays on the following day.  This training and scoring was conducted in Bozeman, Miles City, Great Falls, and Missoula during the first two weeks of April 2003. 

 

·         A contract for printing the tests and scanning and reporting data was awarded to Apperson Print through the Montana State Publications and Graphics.  Apperson was scheduled to return data on the 2003 test scores before May 16 and results sent to schools by May 20.

 

·         A complete report with test data will be available at the May Board of Regents Meeting.

 

·         In collaboration with SAF and OCHE, MSU-GF COT hosts an interactive website that gives students the opportunity to write practice essays and seek tutoring assistance. During the 2002-2003 school year, 142 practice essays were scored using Webwriters. 

 

·         Data from surveys of teachers who administered the test and scorers show overwhelming support of this project.  A complete report from the survey instruments will be available to interested parties at the May Board of Regents Meeting.


Proficiency Admissions Standards clarify the skills expected of students as they enter college, by:

·         Coordinating K-12 and college curriculum and assessment systems;

·         Promoting a K-16 dialogue about student work, standards and expectations; and

·         Ensuring that high school students have acquired the basic skills for success in college.