Federal Grant to Fund UH College of Education Research on Better Writing Assessments

Far too many students end up in high school with poor writing skills, setting them up to struggle in college or careers.

Milena Keller-Margulis, an associate professor at the University of Houston College of Education, is working to change that. She has received a $1.39 million grant from the federal Institute of Education Sciences to develop a quicker and more reliable way to assess younger students’ writing abilities. College of Education Professor Jorge Gonzalez is the co-investigator on the grant, and Sterett Mercer, an associate professor at the University of British Columbia – Vancouver, is a co-principal investigator.

Their project involves studying whether computer-based scoring of short writing samples is effective – which would allow teachers to identify more easily which elementary school students are struggling with basic writing skills and need extra help.