The Expository Reading and Writing Course (ERWC) is a program for 12th graders designed to prepare them to enter the California State University (CSU) and participating community colleges ready to enroll in credit-bearing English courses without the need for remediation. Students demonstrate proficiency in English by achieving an acceptable score on the state’s mandated assessment in English language arts, the SAT, the ACT, or the CSU’s English Placement Test (EPT). The ERWC provides curriculum materials, four to six days of professional learning over the course of several months, professional learning communities among participating teachers, and at least four on-site coaching days for each teacher. The program focuses on discussions of text meaning, developing critical thinking skills, encouraging group discussions, developing oral language skills, developing writing skills in multiple genres, and analyzing the rhetorical features of texts and applying them in student writing. The ERWC replaces ordinary English classes for the whole twelfth grade.
A large statewide quasi-experiment compared students in ERWC to matched students in non-ERWC classrooms. On the EPT tests, ERWC students gained more than non-ERWC students, with an effect size of +0.13.
Each teacher needs access to a computer, Internet, and printing.