Working within the System: the Effects of Standardized Testing on Education Outreach and Community Writing

Elizabeth Parfitt, Stephen Shane


This snapshot describes and reflects upon two case studies community writing projects between Emerson College and Boston Public Schools. Emerson College students were asked to tutor 10th grade BPS students for the English Language Arts portion of the state standardized assessment. Through both quantitative results and qualitative reflection, this paper suggests that approaching such standardized tests as a distinct genre of writing can not only help students to gain awareness for multiple genres, but also to recognize their own writing as an empowered and meaningful political form of social action.

Keywords: community writing, public education, tutoring, standardized
tests, genre

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Publication of the Community Literacy Journal is made possible through the generous support of the English Department and the Writing and Rhetoric Program at Florida International University. The CLJ is a journal of the Conference on Community Writing.