Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Terrence A. Tollefson

Committee Members

Harold Lee Daniels, James H. Lampley, Kathryn K. Franklin


The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine Virginia Standards of Learning 8th grade writing assessments to determine if there was any association between school passing rates and the recommendations suggested by the 2003 National Commission on Writing to improve writing proficiency. This study further examined the possible differences in school passing rates that may exist due to the grade configuration of a school, the location of a school, the availability of a comprehensive writing plan, and the student percentage on free and reduced-price lunch. Data collection consisted of a self-administered survey sent to all 364 schools in Virginia that administered SOL writing assessments during the 2006-2007 school year./p>

This study showed no significant differences in 8th grade writing passing rates between schools with a comprehensive writing plan and those that do not. However, there was a significant difference in 8th grade teacher support for writing, division-administrative support for writing, and the understanding of writing scoring criteria in those schools with a comprehensive plan. There was little association between SOL writing scores and the implementation level of the 7 dimensions related to the National Commission on Writing recommendations. When controlling for socioeconomic status, there was no significant difference in writing scores.

The addition of 4 multiple-choice questions to the SOL test two years ago without a change in the cut score necessary for a student to pass appears to have had a larger impact on the passing rates of schools than the variables included in this study.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.