Just a quarter of eighth and 12th grade students in the United States have solid writing skills, even when allowed to use spell-check and other computer word processing tools.
That's according to results from the 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress in writing released Friday.
Twenty-four percent of students at each grade level were able to write essays that were well developed, organized and had proper language and grammar. Three percent scored as advanced. The remainder showed just partial mastery of these skills.
Students were given the test by computer for the first time in the nearly four decades the test has been administered. Laptops were brought into public and private schools across the country to gain a nationally representative sample. The results weren't comparable to previous years.
Explore further: Report: 8th-grade students still lag in science