Only about one fourth of students tested in the fourth, eighth and 12th grades are able to write at their grade level, a national writing assessment test found.
While about 75 percent of the students were able to write at a "basic" level, demonstrating a "partial mastery" of skills, close to a fifth of the children tested nationwide failed to meet even minimal writing standards.
That's according to results released yesterday from the 1998 National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) Writing Report for the Nation and States.
"Writing skills are essential for demonstrating knowledge in any subject matter," said Jeanne Allen, president of the Center for Education Reform. "While concern for education has been elevated nationwide, we cannot relax and assume the job of educating our children is getting done sufficiently.
"When 75 percent of American children …