I think the following four points from“Understanding the Effectiveness of the National Writing Project” say it better than I could.
- Writng is essential to learning.
- The NWP is already shown to be effective, innovative, and cost—efficient at improving writing.
- The NWP is able to accomplish this because it has built up a national
Infrastructure of linked sites that build
leadership and deliver local services.
- Federal support is vitally important to the NWP’s ability to continue improving writing.
It makes me sad that something which helps build and support locally controlled pockets of education innovation is being called “wasteful and reckless” by Congress.
I’m tired of talking about babies and bathwater, pork barrels, pet projects, and other junk. You need to understand what you’re cutting out when you defund the National Writing Project. We’re a nation who is starving for more strong teachers, schools, jobs, and leaders from all backgrounds. Right now, it seems like we’re taking our legislative cues from daytime infomercials about how to lose weight fast while not actually examining your diet or exercise habits.
Yes, our current budget is far from healthy. There’s fat to be trimmed for sure, and we need to stay lean and smart. but we can’t start skipping meals altogether. We can’t afford a crash diet budget just so we can fit into those prom dress stats in time for the next election dance.
If we’re going to educate new generations of innovators who will cure cancer, they need to be able to read and write well. If we’re going to have kids who understand the value of communication for learning and participating in our world, they need to see teachers who model that mindset.
The NWP is something that works. It’s a very healthy part of our budgetary diet which is already established. It’s a high-nutrition, low-cost staple of professional development for teachers pre-school through college. It’s on shelves in every aisle of our neighborhood grocery stores and there are coupons every week for it.
We need teachers, students, and parents to know their literacy needs are being met locally, supported nationally, and that there is always room in the cart for reading, writing, and learning.