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Collar 1 Jennifer Collar Dr. Shannon Carter English 571 05 December 2011 Adler-Kassner, Linda.

Ownership Revisited: An Exploration in Progressive Era and Expressivist Composition Scholarship. CCC. 49.2 (May 1998): 208-33. Print. Adler Kassner argues in this article that expressivist writing can be more than just all for me writing. Expressivist proponents obviously prize the individuals voice in writing, but opponents of expressivism are skeptical about this focus on the self. They worry that not enough concern is assigned to outside social forces and systems. Adler-Kassner asserts that a happy medium can exist in personal writing; there can be created an in-between that allows students to express voice but the same time, pay attention to important political and social issues that might otherwise escape their attention. In my argument, I present myself as one of the skeptics of expressivism or romantic rhetoric, so I think it fair in my discussion to explore what advocates of personal writing have to say and even consider how what I might find to be acceptable forms for expressivist writing in the composition classroom. Baldwin, Doug. A Guide to Standardized Writing Assessment. Educational Leadership 62.2 (2004): 72-75. Article First. Web. 10 Nov. 2011. This article discusses the various types of state writing assessments that now exist, the general objectives that are measured on these exams, and how these objectives are holistically scored. In addition, the author describes how mandated state tests have influenced the way in which educators approach writing instruction. He asserts that educators will best help students succeed on these tests if they explain how writing pieces are scored on the exam, so that students become effective at self assessment on these types of essays. In effect, he argues, students will understand what they need to do to pass state writing assessments. My research looks specifically at how standardized testing has affected writing instruction, and so this article will work perfectly. This article advocates a particular type of composition instruction that stems from the effects of nation-wide standardized state tests, which is precisely what I will be discussing in my essay. Bartholomae. David. The Tidy House: Basic Writing in the American Curriculum. Journal of Basic Writing 12.1 (Spring 1993): 4-21. Web. JSTOR. 17 Nov. 2011.

Collar 2 David Bartholomae argues here that the nature of the basic writing course is all wrong. A basic writing course, he contends cannot simply be a course designed to teach skills, skills that are supposedly necessary prerequisites for reading and writing. He asserts that basic writers need to be challenged by difficult material, and they need to be instructed in what the academy will perceive as valuable. So essentially, he argues that the basic writing course is often too basic as a skills-driven course. I think this advice can be applied not just to basic writing courses, but to high school composition as well. Because of a curriculum driven by a standardized test, currently the TAKS test, teachers often find themselves in a possible situation trying to effectively teach writing but struggling to do so because of the way in which they must teach it in order to ensure the success of students on this exam. Teaching in this way, however, contributes to the number of students who eventually find themselves labeled as basic writers when they enter university. Brandt, Deborah. Literacy and Learning: Reflections on Writing, Reading, and Society. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2009. Print. In Learning and Learning, Brandt defines literacy in terms of how literacy actually functions in society. She explains that every individual has a literacy history as a result of literacy sponsors, those people and things that provide access to literacy and affect our literacy histories, are different for each of us. Literacy sponsorship does not operate as an equalizing measure. In other words, it is more likely for a person from a higher class system with more money to have greater access to more literacy sponsors. This difference in access to literacy sponsors, we see in Brandts book, accounts for the success (defined in traditional terms by profession and salary) of individuals. In my research, I will argue that standardized tests, particularly the TAKS test, functions as a literacy sponsor, affecting the writing abilities of students and in consequence, their future success in and outside the classroom. Brandts book and the concept of literacy sponsor will therefore help me frame my discussion of the TAKS test as a sponsor of literacy. Burnham, Christopher. Expressive Pedagogy: Practice/Theory, Theory/Practice. A Guide to Composition Pedagogies. New York: Oxford, 2001. Print. Christopher Burnham offers a history of the expresivism movement and how it emerged in opposition to the philosophy behind current-traditional rhetoric. He traces the history back to the 1960s and 70s during the civil rights movement, the passage of the GI bill, and the Vietnam War. Burnham then spends some time discussing the theories and pedagogical thought behind expressivism in writing. Of course, in this discussion, he also mentions reception of the movement, including critics against and defenses of expressivism. While I believe that expressivism has a place in composition, I argue in my research that the expressivist nature of the TAKS composition has adversely affected the literacy histories of many students, leading to more and more students being labeled as basic writers when the enter the collegiate sphere. An analysis of the precepts and theories behind expressivism will aide me in effectively articulating

Collar 3 and defending this argument. Carter, Shannon. The Way Literacy Lives. Albany: State University of New York, 2008. Print. In The Way Literacy Lives, Shannon Carter argues that in helping students to create a rhetorical dexterity, they might come to realize their potential by recognizing other types of literacy beyond the traditional views. Carter contends that if students can understand that other literacies are valid, then perhaps they can use and build on these literacies that they have already acquired. Students do not realize and assign proper merit to their own literacy histories, which closes a door that could otherwise be utilized to build connections between literacies, helping students to become familiar with new ones, like academic writing. I am particularly interested in chapter one of Carters book, The Way Literacy Tests. This chapters fits nicely into my research plan as it discusses the issues behind the No Child Left Behind Act and standardized tests, which deals specifically with my research on the effects of this act and what this act has meant for writing curriculums across the state of Texas. Chapter 110. Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for English Language Arts and Reading Subchapter C. High School. Texas Education Agency. Texas Education Agency, 20072010. Web. 20 November 2011. This website covers all things that fall under the TAKS umbrella. I will be looking primarily at sample writing prompts used over the last few years in administration of the TAKS exam. I will also consider the section that covers evaluation of TAKS essays, a description of how TAKS compositions are scored by evaluators in Austin. This information will tie nicely into my research and argument as I discuss how these tests have influenced school curriculum. An evaluation of this site will allow me to demonstrate the exact kind of writing that is expected of high school students for this test, which is of course, the writing mode that is being taught. The type of writing taught for TAKS, I contend is build from the foundations of expressivism, which I believe is the major fault of the writing prompt. It is limiting and does not prepare students for the writing tasks are expected at the university level. Dunbar-Odom, Donna. Defying the Odds: Class and the Pursuit of Higher Literacy. New York: State University, 2007. Print. In this book, Dr. Dunbar-Odom continues Brandts conversation of the literacy narrative and looks specifically at the literacy narrative through a class lens. In her argument, she poses the question of why students from lower-class backgrounds, many of whom are first-generation college students, push forward to achieve literacy, despite the barriers that might prevent them from doing so. Dunbar-Odom defines literacy not as the ability to read and write, but the ability

Collar 4 to read and write critically and analytically at a higher level. So, what she refers to then is higher literacy, as she investigates students motivations for working towards becoming highly literate and reflects on her own understanding of these motivations that will help her to become a better teacher. I think in any discussion of standardized tests, the issue of class will most definitely manifest itself, and so I think I will be able to use this source as I situate my argument around how students (particularly those who do not succeed on TAKS) confront these barriers that are often times created by their class situation. Hillocks, George Jr. Fighting Back: Assessing the Assessments. The English Journal 92.4 (2003): 63-70. JSTOR. Web. 6 November 2011. In this article, George Hillocks touches on a very sensitive area for many English teachers, the state assessment test. As Hillocks explains, the biggest area of concern with such standardized tests is that they are the driving force for all English writing curriculums. If it is discovered that the writing prompts of standardized tests do not result in true quality writing, then there is a serious problem because this is what composition teachers are being forced to teach students to ensure their success on the exam. Students, as a result, know only one formula for writing, which in most cases, will not be the most effective one. Hillocks arguments are central to my research of the ways in which standardized testing affects the quality of student writing. Hillocks ends with the complaint that we should enlist citizens and state legislatures to redress the problems of the standardized tests. While he makes a good point here, were still left with the question of what we should do in the mean time; Im hoping to offer some solutions to this issue. Hull, Glynda and Mike Rose. Toward a Social-Cognitive Understanding of Problematic Reading and Writing. The Right to Literacy. Ed. Andrea Lunsford, Helene Moglen, and James Slevin. New York: The Modern Language Association, 1990. 235-244. This is a wonderful book source about literacy that defines literacy as something many have been denied but a privilege to which everyone has a right. The authors discuss what types of barriers have prevented people from fully accessing and acquiring literacy and what can be done to break down these barriers. I am particularly interested in the article by Glynda Hull and Mike Rose but am optimistic that I will be able to use other parts of the book as well. Hull and Rose discuss the barriers that restrict many from literacy and one of these is unpreparedness. In my research I address this issue of unpreparedness and how it might relate to curriculum driven by standardized tests, so I think this particular article will tie in well to help me support the notion that students who enter university are not adequately prepared for the challenges presented by a first-year writing course.

Collar 5 Kixmiller, Lori. Standards Without Sacrifice: The Case for Authentic Writing. The English Journal 94.1 (2004): 29-33. JSTOR. Web. 10 Nov. 2011. This article makes a strong case for purposeful writing in the composition classroom. It falls in line with Aristotleian rhetoric in the sense that it promotes pragmatic writing, composing with a practical cause in mind. Kixmiller advocates the usage of writing prompts that encourage students to generate writing that is personally relevant and that has a connection to real world happenings. The author claims that educators must re-evaluate traditional standards, and not necessarily sacrifice standards, but redefine them in order to create purposeful, meaningful writing tasks for students. The author drives home the point that such meaningful assignments generate better writing and develop a stronger and more energetic voice in the writing of students. I think it is critical that we not sacrifice standards, and so I can appreciate the purpose of standardized tests in attempting to measure standards and enforce accountability. However, I still contend that the TAKS test has been the driving force behind a writing curriculum that is failing students. This article supports me in this idea that we must re-evaluate standards and move students outside of the current curriculum-box in which they are currently trapped. Kraemer, Don J. Why Studying Standardized Tests With Our Students is Important. The English Journal 94.4 (2005): 88-92. JSTOR. Web. 6 November 2011. In this article, Kraemer argues that one of the best methods of ensuring student success on standardized tests is to actually study the test itself. He explains that through critic and analysis of a sample test, students will gain a better understanding of what they must complete in order to be successful. While his argument does not specifically relate to the TAKS test, which is the focus of my study, it still addresses the issue of standardized tests and teaching to the test. In my very classroom I used to engage students in studies of prior TAKS test. I found this to be my most effective weapon in combating the challenge of student success on this exam. However, as I argue in my research, this type of instruction is extremely limiting. While I do not point the finger of blame at the teacher, but rather at the standardized tests for forcing us into this kind of instruction, the fact still remains that students are being cheated out of a full education, an education that would adequately prepare them for writing expected of them at university. Lensmire, Timonthy J. and Lisa Stanovsky. Defense of the Romantic Poet?: Writing Workshops and Voice. Theory Into Practice 37.4 (1998): 280-288. JSTOR. Web. 6 Nov. 2011. This article, by Timothy Lensmire and Lisa Satanovsky, explains four key principles behind Romantic tradition in writing: self expression, liberation from convention, celebration of emotion, and valuing folk cultures. The authors then describe how the Romantic approach is effective because it rallies against the traditional forms of writing instruction and helps writers to

Collar 6 produce truly authentic writing. The article also includes a segment that discusses and responds to criticisms against the Romantic tradition. This article is useful because of its consideration of both the pros and cons of Romantic rhetoric, an approach that falls under criticism in my argument, and although the article is clearly in favor of the practice, it still considers opposing views that I can address in order to strengthen my own theory. Lindblom, Kenneth. Teaching English in the World Writing for Real. The English Journal 94.1 (2004): 104-108. JSTOR. Web. 3 November 2011. In this article, Kenenth Lindblom articulates the point that because of the formulaic structure of standardized testing writing prompts, the writing skills of students have been negatively impacted. The writing students complete at school, in effect, is drastically different (and nonrealistic) from the writing in which they will engage in the real world. The author encourages taking writing beyond the classroom and creating assignments that are meaningful and include real audiences. The article concludes with an extremely helpful section that offers suggested topics for effective writing assignments. Surprisingly, Lindblom suggests not only non-fiction related topics, but also writing prompts pertaining to fiction reading assignments. This is enormously helpful to high school English teachers who teach both composition and literature. This source will help me in my evaluation of the effects that standardized tests have had on students writing. It explains why many of my freshmen composition students enter my classroom knowing only how to compose a narrative essay, the writing genre or formula of focus for the TAKS essay that has been in place since 2003. Lunsford, Andrea A. The Content of Basic Writers Essays. CCC 31.3 (Oct. 1980): 278-90. JSTOR. Web. 16 Nov. 2011. This older article by Andrea Lunsford, I find is still very relevant to my research. In this article, Lunsford asserts that a major problem with the writing of those labeled basic writers is that their writing focuses primarily on personal experience. Lunsford explains that basic writers are caught in the egocentric stage, termed so by Pieager and Vygotsky. She concludes that basic writers will benefit most by being introduced to a curriculum that asks them to analyze and think critically. I argue in my research that basic writers enter college not knowing how to do these same tasks. They are skilled in narrative writing but find themselves lacking when asked to build an argument or write analytically. Therefore, I can conclude, based on the arguments of Lunsford, that the TAKS test has only facilitated this problem, thereby increasing the number of those identified as basic writers. Ritter, Kelly. Before Mina Shaughnessy: Basic Writing at Yale, 1920-1960. CCC 60.1 (2008): 12-41.Teaching Reading/Writing in College. Web. 17 Sept. 2011.

Collar 7 In this article, Ritter argues that basic writers are not all the same and that our definitions of what it means to be basic changes across space and time. Ritter points out that students labeled as basic writers at Yale, whom are the focus of her study, might well be considered college-ready at other institutions, particularly public ones that do not hold as high admittance standards as Yale. While I find this argument of Ritters quite interesting, I am more interested in the background information of the basic writer that Ritter provides (for my research at the time). In this article, Ritter also discusses how being labeled as basic, even at Yale, forces certain exclusions upon students. These exclusions are a direct result of them being labeled basic writers. Because my research argues that one of the major effects of the writing curriculum promoted by TAKS is an increase in this label basic writer, I think it will be interesting to see how the limitations imposed on Yale students compare to those of students at two-year colleges and public universities. Rose, Mike. The Language of Exclusion: Writing Instruction at the University. The Norton Book of Composition Studies. Ed. Susan Miller. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2009. 586-604. JSTOR. Web. 16 Nov. 2011. Mike Rose presents a very controversial issue, the issue of whether or not courses termed remedial or developmental should continue to be a part of university. Mike Rose briefly discusses the history of the basic writing student of the history behind the tactics that have been used to address what were considered to be deficiencies in these students. He then defends the position of basic writing at university at argues that we rethink the way in which we view these students in order to situate writing firmly in the undergraduate curriculum (587). As I discuss the consequences of being labeled a basic writer, this article may come in handy in discussing how basic writers are often excluded and misrepresented in the academic world. Rose, Mike. Lives on the Boundary: The Struggles and Achievements of Americas Underprepared. New York: Free Press, 1989. Print. In this book, Mike Rose discusses the condition of the basic writer. He explains that basic writers are often labeled as deprived, deficient, or remedial. Rose, however, believes that there is much more depth and complexity to these students than is indicated by these derogatory labels. Rose asserts that these students are simply underprepared and draws on his own life experience as an underprepared student to illustrate how social and economic factors play into a students unpreparedness. In my research, I also argue that students are underprepared primarily due to the current school curriculum imposed by the TAKS test. This should help me to draw connections between the exam and political issues that impact success on this test. Undeniably, these are factors that influence a students success on such standardizes tests and factors, of course, that impact their overall success in college and life after college.

Collar 8 Rose, Mike. Why School. New York: The New Press, 2009. Print. In Why School, Mike Rose discusses many of the reasons people, children and adults alike, have traditionally sought after an education. He emphasizes the difference the experience of education can make in an individuals life, regardless of their reasons for attainting an education. In chapters three and eight, which will be the selections of focus for my research, Rose discusses the history of the No Child Left Behind Act and how this bill has affected school curriculum. Rose argues that standardized tests narrow the school curriculum,thereby limiting a students learning experiencing. I agree with Rose and will demonstrate how the TAKS test has been limiting the education of Texas students since 2003. Of course, this analysis will only look at how TAKS has impacted writing instruction in Texas, not any of the other subjects tested on the exam. Romantic Rhetoric, the fueling philosophy behind TAKS composition, I argue has greatly limited the writing scope of many entering college freshmen. Shaughnessy, Mina. Introduction to Errors and Expectations: A Guide for the Teacher of Basic Writing. The Norton Book of Composition Studies. Ed. Susan Miller. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2009. 387-396. Print. In this article, Mina Shaughnessy takes a look at the history of the basic writer dating back to the 1960s and 70s, as many colleges and universities struggled to accommodate a new kind of student they had never encountered before. Basic writing courses were born in an effort to remediate or fix these students who were not yet considered college-ready. Shaughnessy makes a compelling argument in this article that these students deemed basic writers are not necessarily deficient, but rather beginners in composition. This article will prove helpful in my research as I trace the history of Romantic Rhetoric (another way in which colleges responded to the influx of students as a result of the Vietnam War and the civil rights movement). In my research, I am also interested in how the narrowed curriculum of TAKS has affected student writing, and I argue that more and more students each year are being identified as basic writers because of TAKS curriculum. I agree with Shaughnessy that these students are, indeed, beginners, and I think that TAKS curriculum has allowed students to stall in this place, not fostering development of high school writers. Shelton, Beth. A Statistical Review of Developmental Writing at Paris Junior College. Kellog Institute. Paris, TX: Paris Junior College, July 2011. Print. This is a study conducted in response to the increase of students entering Paris Junior College unprepared for college-level English. As an Achieving the Dream institute, Paris Junior College is committed to fostering student success through whatever means possible, hence the motive behind this study. The purpose of this study was to track the progress of students enrolled in basic writing (0301 and 0203), as well as the progress of students enrolled in freshmen composition at PJC (1301). The results of this study demonstrated that success in the

Collar 9 course sequence has been acceptable at best, and retention of students throughout the sequence, as well as having students complete the sequence in a timely manner has not been acceptable. Following the study, there were several suggestions made to remedy these problems. This study fits into my research as it correlates to the repercussions of being labeled a basic writer, which may be a direct result of the writing curriculum fostered by TAKS. Stutz, Terrence. Texas New Standardized STAAR Tests Will be Tougher, Longer.The Dallas Morning News. 02 December 2010. Web. 28 Sept. 2011. This article announces the arrival of the new state standardized test, the STAAR test. This exam will replace the current state-mandated exam, the TAKS test beginning in the 2011-2012 school year. Stutz reports in this article that the new test will more difficult and challenging for students than the current TAKS test. The goal of this test, he explains, is to increase Texas ranking among states and raise Texas to the ten states for graduating college-ready students by the end of the decade. As I consider the role of the TAKS test as literacy sponsors and the effects this exam has had on the literacy histories of students, I think its important to also take a look, if only a glance, at its successor. The new exam, at first glance, does seem promising; although, it is still a standardized test, and the goal is still the same, to increase students performance so the state of Texas has a higher ranking amongst states. Hopefully, despite this goal, a new, better writing curriculum will emerge, one that does not focus solely on expressivism. Thomas, P.L. Teaching Writing as We Know We Should. The English Journal 90.1 (2000): 39-45. JSTOR. Web. 3 Nov. 2011. This article argues that in order for students to become successful writers, drastic changes must be made in how educators teach writing. Writing instructors must abandon the traditional approach of composition that advocates the introduction (with thesis statement), the body, and the conclusion. In addition, educators need to view the writing process as a continual, on-going phase of writing, not a linear process that teaches process writing as drafting, writing, and revision. Thomas also asserts that in order for the changes to occur, teachers and the public alike must be willing to change their current perceptions and refuse the cultural myths that currently exist about the teaching of writing and move beyond the traditional modes of instruction under which most were taught over the years. This article is particularly useful because it outlines specific ways in which educators can move beyond the boundaries of tradition and formula, which is what I argue needs to be done to overcome the barriers of the TKAS test. It also offers some advice on how curriculum structure must be changed if this shift in writing instruction is to transpire.

Collar 10 Tremmel, Robert. Striking a Balance Seeking a Discipline. The Norton Book of Composition Studies. Ed. Susan Miller. NewYork: W.W. Norton & Co., 2009. 358371. Print. In this article, Robert Tremmel raises an excellent point about curriculum alignment between secondary education and first-year composition courses. He points out that there is currently no connection between the two, which explains why so many first-year students are unprepared for the writing tasks expected of them at university. Tremmel argues that for students in English education (those graduate students preparing to teach high school English), it would be highly beneficial to spend some time in the high school English classroom. Currently, most TAs only spend time completing service in undergraduate freshmen composition courses, which Tremmel argues accomplishes nothing in bridging the curriculum between high school writing and freshmen composition. In my research, I assess the factors that contribute to students unpreparedness as they enter college. Of course, my focus is on the current writing curriculum that has been fueled by the TAKS exam. I would argue that by working to eliminate this gap in the curriculum between secondary composition and first-year composition that secondary teachers would be able to find a way to teach outside of the box created by the standardized test, no matter what that standardized test happens to be. By gearing their teaching in this manner, it may be possible to prepare students for the test without only teaching to the test. Williams, James D. Preparing to Teach Writing. Mahway, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, 2003. Print. Preparing to Teach Writing is a preparatory book designed for teachers of writing. I am particularly interested in chapter two of this book, Contemporary Rhetoric, that discusses several different approaches to composition instruction including: Current Traditional rhetoric, New Rhetoric, Romantic Rhetoric, Writing Across the Curriculum, The Social-Theoretic Model, Postmodern Rhetoric, and Post-Postmodern Rhetoric. Primarily, I will focus on how Williams defines Romantic Rhetoric, or what many call expressivism, and how the philosophies behind Romantic Rhetoric have affected curriculum, instruction, and the writing abilities of students. In addition to defining Romantic Rhetoric, Williams also presents a comprehensive history of the approach to composition. An important part of this history dates back to how colleges and universities handled the changes in student body that occurred in the 1960s and 70s as they dealt with massive enrollments due to the civil rights movement and the The Vietnam War. Understanding the history of Romantic Rhetoric and how standards and expectations were impacted by its origination will also help me to make sense of its underlying precepts have affected education, particularly writing instruction.