Skip navigation

The Nation's Report Card

Writing Overall Results State Results District Results Results by Demographic Groups Sample Questions Classroom Context About the Assessment About the Writing Assessment National Participation Rates National Exclusion Rates Target Populations and Samples State and District Participation Rates State Exclusion Rates District Exclusion Rates Type of Accommodations Information For... Media Parents Educators Researchers Policymakers Resources About the Nation's Report Card Data Tools FAQ Contacts

About the writing assessment

Nationally representative samples of more than 165,000 eighth- and twelfth-graders participated in the 2007 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) writing assessment (the assessment was not administered at grade 4 in 2007). Each student responded to 2 out of 20 possible writing tasks intended to measure one of three purposes for writing: narrative, informative, or persuasive. Students were given 25 minutes to compose a response to each writing task.

In 2007, public school students in 45 states and the Department of Defense schools participated in the writing assessment at grade 8. Alaska, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Nebraska, Oregon, and South Dakota did not participate in the 2007 NAEP writing assessment, but they were included in the nationally representative sample. The NAEP Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA) is designed to explore the feasibility of using NAEP to report on the performance of public school students at the district level. Participating districts included the following:

Atlanta City School District
Austin Independent School District 
Boston School District
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools
City of Chicago School District 299

Cleveland Municipal School District
Houston Independent School District
Los Angeles Unified School District
New York City Public Schools
San Diego Unified School District

While results from the 2002 writing assessment are available for the District of Columbia in the NAEP Data Explorer, the student population was too small for the jurisdiction to participate in the 2007 TUDA writing assessment. Because only public school students participated in the TUDA assessments, scores are compared to public school averages for the nation and large central cities. Large central cities (cities with a population of 250,000 or more) provide a comparison that is more reflective of the student populations in the participating districts.

The writing assessment was developed and reviewed by a committee of writing and measurement experts to capture the goals of the 2007 writing framework. The National Assessment Governing Board, through a comprehensive national process involving writing teachers, researchers, measurement experts, policymakers, and members of the general public, created the framework, which describes the goals of the assessment and the kinds of exercises it ought to feature. The Writing Development Committee was instrumental in the development of the assessment.

Learn more about procedures used as part of the 2007 writing assessment.

Download Writing Report Card Download Writing Report Card