Debra Butterfield Joins National Writing Evaluation Effort

Debra Butterfield

Debra Butterfield, MWP ’03, traveled to Chicago on August 3-6 to participate in the 2011 National Writing Project Evaluation Scoring
Conference.  Debra joined teacher-consultants from across the country to read and evaluate student writing from sites conducting research as part of NWP’s Local Site Research Initiative.  Over a three-day period, participants learned to use and apply NWP’s Analytic Writing Continuum in reviewing more than 8,000 writing samples at various grade levels.

The scoring conference contributes to research findings on writing achievement in classrooms where teachers are NWP participants.  Key findings from the 2010 conference indicated that students in writing project classrooms showed comparatively greater progress in writing conventions as well as in those aspects of writing that distinguish Writing Project teachers–developing ideas, organization, and stance.

Debra described her experience as intensive yet validating.  “I knew I would love thinking so deeply about writing, but to be part of such an extensive and important research project was just incredible.  The National Writing Project supports the vision of teacher as researcher, and it was exciting to see the impact our work plays in the lives of our students.”

Debra Butterfield is a seventh grade teacher at Gardiner Regional Middle School.  She the 2011 MWP Tanya Baker Scholar and is a recognized leader in literacy, middle level education, and technology.  Not surprisingly, her work at the scoring conference included instigating a forum for participants to share and record ideas on writing evaluation.