During the first year of implementation, the emphasis of the America's Choice school reform design is an intensive focus on building students' writing skills. Writers workshop, the primary instructional emphasis of America's Choice during this year, is the component of the design for which teachers first receive in-depth training.
In keeping with the emphasis of America's Choice, this year-one external evaluation study of the impact of America's Choice on student performance in Georgia focuses on student writing performance. The study examines changes in student writing performance from 2001 to 2002, the initial year of implementation of America's Choice in 109 Georgia elementary schools and 50 Georgia middle schools. Because state writing assessments were administered to students in fifth and eighth grades, our analyses are restricted to these grade levels.