Poor Student Writing, Slashed Education Budgets Make Free Digital Courseware Vital


Poor Student Writing, Slashed Education Budgets Make Free Digital Courseware Vital

SAS®Curriculum Pathways®Writing Navigator improves English language arts test scores in resource-strapped classrooms

CARY, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- With only 24 percent of US eighth-graders writing as well as they should1, many educators are looking to online curricula for help. But how can a small, rural school in a community with limited technology take advantage?

Gayle Mathis, a seventh-grade English teacher at Hickman County (TN) Middle School, uses SAS® Curriculum Pathways® Writing Navigator, provided at no cost to educators and students.

Along with many of her colleagues, Mathis has seen SAS Curriculum Pathways engage students and improve skills. She believes the online resources have improved value-added scores at the school, as her students learn to better plan, write and revise their work. Mathis will discuss her use of SAS Curriculum Pathways during an EducationWeek webinar on Oct. 3 at 2 p.m.

"SAS Curriculum Pathways lets students work at their own pace - their confidence levels soar," said Mathis, a 20-year classroom veteran. "I believe this confidence explains the positive testing results."

Value-added scores have risen from Level 1 to 5 at Hickman, gains the school has sustained for three consecutive years. Hickman Principal Jeremy Qualls, who has witnessed jumps in value-added scores among his teachers, believes SAS Curriculum Pathways has helped his school meet state objectives.

"Our English language arts test scores have risen with the increased use of SAS Curriculum Pathways," said Qualls. "I see the engagement when I observe students in the lab. They are engrossed in the program and the feedback they receive is extremely valuable."

Available at no cost to educators and students, SAS Curriculum Pathways Writing Navigator includes:

Writing Planner

Students generate and organize ideas into a writing plan. Writing Planner helps them brainstorm ideas, facts or opinions and support their positions with information from web sites, books or other sources. Students can group and sequence ideas and review their writing plan.

Writing Drafter

Students transform their writing plans into a first draft by developing coherent sentences and paragraphs. They craft sentences, supporting details and transitions, and introductory and concluding paragraphs. They then analyze their writing to improve sentence patterns, punctuation and transitions.

Writing Reviser

The most popular resource in SAS Curriculum Pathways, Writing Reviser helps students focus on purpose and audience, essay structure and language use. Students learn to ask questions experienced writers ask automatically and express themselves with precision and power.

Mathis also uses Punctuation Rules!, which teaches students basic punctuation, demonstrates the connection between punctuation and meaning, and provides specific words, phrases and clauses to create sentences and apply punctuation.

More than 120,000 users in more than 40,000 schools have registered to use SAS Curriculum Pathways. Students can have their own accounts, with parental permission, in accordance with the Child Online Protection and Privacy Act.

SAS Curriculum Pathways provides interactive, standards-based resources in the core disciplines (English language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, Spanish) for traditional, virtual and home schools. It focuses on topics where doing, seeing and listening provide information and encourage insights in ways conventional methods cannot.

About SAS

SAS is the leader in business analytics software and services, and the largest independent vendor in the business intelligence market. Through innovative solutions, SAS helps customers at more than 65,000 sites improve performance and deliver value by making better decisions faster. Since 1976 SAS has been giving customers around the world THE POWER TO KNOW®.

SAS and all other SAS Institute Inc. product or service names are registered trademarks or trademarks of SAS Institute Inc. in the USA and other countries. ® indicates USA registration. Other brand and product names are trademarks of their respective companies. Copyright © 2013 SAS Institute Inc. All rights reserved.

1 National Center for Education Statistics (2012).The Nation's Report Card: Writing 2011(NCES 2012-470). Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C

Trent Smith, 919-531-4726

KEYWORDS: United States North America North Carolina


The article Poor Student Writing, Slashed Education Budgets Make Free Digital Courseware Vital originally appeared on Fool.com.

Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Copyright © 1995 - 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Originally published