Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Center for the Advancement of Education


Dr. Stewart McCord


This report describes a program for improving the written composition skills of the students in a small, rural school in Texas. The discrepancy was noted when the MARP manager analyzed the state required Texas Educational Assessment of Minimum Skills (TEAMS) test and found that the students were scoring lower in written composition when compared to reading and mathematics. Specific strategies to improve the writing skills of the students included training the teachers in the writing process, instructing the students regularly in the writing process, and developing and implementing a systematic approach to writing whereby students received congruent writing instruction within and across grade levels. In addition, the MARP manager promoted writing as a mode of learning which helped to develop higher level cognitive thinking. Focusing the staff on writing as an important curriculum area was an essential tactic of the MARP manager. As a result of the MARP intervention, the terminal objectives to reduce the failure rate on the state test were achieved. The 1990 fifth grade students reduced their failure rate from 22% to 2%; and the 1990 seventh grade students reduced their failure rate from 17% to 5%. In addition, the 1991 fifth grade students reduced their failure rate from 5% to 0%; and the 1991 seventh grade students reduced their failure rate from 10% to 1%.

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