Teachers Empower Students to Master Common Core State Standards With WriteToLearn From Pearson

Updates to Online Tool Provide Greater Support for Building Critical Thinking Skills, Write More Creatively

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – April 9, 2013 – Schools around the country are turning to WriteToLearn™ to empower their students to master the Common Core State Standards and excel on the new Common Core assessments. Today Pearson unveiled major updates to the award-winning online tool, which take its support for Common Core learning to an even higher level.

With WriteToLearn, students build the literacy skills outlined in the new Common Core State Standards by practicing essay writing and summarization skills, and their efforts are measured by Pearson's Knowledge Analysis Technologies™ (KAT) engine. Now with nearly 60 new Common Core-aligned argumentative writing prompts in WriteToLearn, students are challenged to think critically, a core skill delineated in the Common Core State Standards, while developing the writing and reading comprehension skills required by the more rigorous learning goals.

WriteToLearn introduces engaging Visual Writing Prompts across all grade-levels and types, including argumentative, allowing students to make a visual connection to the topic they are being asked to write about. For example, the prompt, "Explain the educational importance of a field trip to an amusement park," is accompanied by a photograph of a roller coaster, sparking students' creative juices and helping them take their writing to a deeper level.

At Marion County High School in Jasper, Tennessee, Teacher Sarah Ziegler's students are already on the path the Common Core success. After just one year of using WriteToLearn, writing scores on their state standardized tests were the best in the school's history.

"Our whole school is excited about WriteToLearn," said Ziegler. "Once you see what it can do, and how much your students improve not just their writing skills, but their thinking and analytical skills, you don't go back to pen and paper."

Earlier in 2013, WriteToLearn added Pearson's text complexity measure, the Reading Maturity Metric, to its nearly 1,000 informational reading passages along with Common Core State Standards' text complexity grade bands. This additional information is now available to teachers to help them select the most appropriate readings for their students using Common Core criteria. The Reading Maturity Metric offers 30 percent improvement over previous reading formulas.

"As schools around the country take the bold move to standards that require students to read, write and think more critically, we stand ready to provide them with the highest quality, most effective tools to support learning," said Alistair Van Moere, president, of the Knowledge Technologies business of Pearson. This update -- and every one we make to WriteToLearn in the future -- is focused on taking its support for ensuring that students meet the new standards and graduate prepared for success in college and career to the next level.

WriteToLearn is a complete literacy tool for implementing the Common Core, providing summary writing to develop reading comprehension; vocabulary exercises in select reading passages to expand students' word knowledge; and essay writing to build on writing skills. WriteToLearn places strong emphasis on the comprehension and analysis of the types of informational texts detailed in the new standards.

WriteToLearn qualifies for federal funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. For more information, visit  To learn more about the Reading Maturity Metric, visit

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