The Nation’s Report Card on Writing is in. Eighth and 12th grade writing scores show some slight improvements, as well as some frustrating stagnation, and racial/ethnic achievement gaps persist. Average scores on the 2007 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) exam in writing were slightly higher than scores in 1998 and 2002. Among the results:

  • The share of students performing at or above “basic achievement” is up slightly since 2002: from 85 percent to 88 percent for 8th graders, and from 74 percent to 82 percent in 12th grade.
  • The percentage of students at the proficient level did not improve.
  • White students continue to outperform African-American and Hispanic students by large margins at both grade levels.