Conference on writing, Common Core standards draws strong interest

A conference on effective writing instruction and the Common Core State Standards drew 280 educators from across Maine to the Augusta Civic Center on March 16.

The teachers who attended worked with instructors from similar grade levels on strategies for improving writing instruction and using the Common Core State Standards to guide instruction in their classrooms. Workshop groups were led by expert writing teachers.

“The interest was so strong that we had to turn many people away beginning two weeks before,” said Tom Tracy, executive director of Navigating the Real World, the non-profit group that organized the conference. “Clearly there is strong interest among educators across the state in improving writing results and teaching to the Common Core State Standards.”

The Maine Department of Education and the University of Southern Maine co-sponsored the conference. Maine DOE Literacy Specialist Lee Anne Larsen and English Language Arts Specialist Patsy Dunton were among the conference presenters.

Navigating the Real World collects the stories of people in their twenties and publishes them for today’s Maine high school students so they can become better informed and better prepared for success beyond school.

“Weak writing skills seriously impair the prospects of too many of our high school grads,” Tracy said. “Improving these skills significantly requires coordinated efforts across the K-12 span.”

Due to positive feedback and strong interest, Navigating the Real World plans to hold another conference on writing and the Common Core State Standards in August.

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