The measurement of writing ability should understand and support the best goals of writing instruction. This means that the measurement as well as the teaching of basic skills must include critical thinking and creativity in the definition of these basic skills. It also means that the processes of thinking and writing as well as their products need to appear somehow in the measurement of writing ability. We are clearly a long way from realizing that goal, both in the testing and the teaching of writing. A community college teacher once told me of a one-sentence "essay" she received from a remedial level student, responding to the topic "Why Write? ""They make you write," the student wrote, "so they can getcha." For this student, not only the test but all school writing was a trap; our task and our challenge is to help such students see the opportunity as well as the dangers that writing offers to them.