Reading & Literacy

Dearth of High School Research Papers Gets Attention

By Catherine Gewertz — January 10, 2011 1 min read
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Will Fitzhugh has labored for decades to bring attention to the question of why high school students are so infrequently required to write lengthy research papers. He’s been out there in woodsy Massachusetts shouting about this to anyone who’ll listen (and the number who will has been disappointingly small, in Fitzhugh’s estimation). Now he’s gotten one of the biggest platforms around: The New York Times ran a big feature on Mr. Fitzhugh and his Concord Review, the only publication in the country to publish students’ history research papers.

We’ve shared some of the debate about research papers in high school here on Curriculum Matters, and covered the journal’s travails (here and here) in our news pages. Fitzhugh has aired his views in EdWeek’s Commentary pages, and in The Washington Post’s blogs, and elsewhere. Will his newest platform help build support for his ideas and for the Concord Review? The story was among the top five most-emailed stories on the Times’ website at one point this weekend.

Already, Fitzhugh tells me that his website, which typically gets about 100 visits per day, got 16,000 this weekend. He’s been spending every minute responding to calls, subscriptions, donations and comments, he says.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.