The Clear Writing Diagnostic Essay is a school-wide writing assessment for students in Grades 9-12, designed to provide a baseline of high school student writing proficiency, to identify and address target areas of need in student writing, and to better support Pathways teachers and their students with writing instruction and assessment.
Each fall, PCS high school students are instructed to write a diagnostic essay in response to a common prompt, often on a topic of civic interest. Students are expected to support their arguments through incorporation and citation of appropriate research.
The Clear Writing assessment is assigned in September. Students compose their essays using Google Docs, and then upload the papers to a designated Google Classroom. The writing assessment must be proctored and is completed in one of several ways: during onsite English classes, at testing lab sessions, or in IST meetings.
PCS teachers, as directed by the English Department Chair and administrative team, read the essays, and provide feedback to the students and their ISTs by mid-October.