The Writing Diagnostic is a school-wide writing assessment for students in Grades 9-12. It is designed to provide a baseline of high school student writing proficiency, to identify 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 or cultural interest. Students are expected to support their arguments through incorporation and citation of the research sources provided with the prompt.
The Writing Diagnostic is given in September. (Teachers may decide to give the assessment to students who enroll later in the year, as well.) Students compose their essays using Google Docs, and then upload the papers to a designated Google Classroom. This writing assessment must be proctored and completed in one of the following ways: during onsite English classes, at regional learning center test sessions, or with an IST during a student meeting.
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.