The Alliance for Education has granted money to train teachers and support the implementation of the Readers and Writers Workshop at middle schools. (see Stanford Grant Press Release)
I'm pleased to hear this news because Pathfinder K-8 already uses Readers and Writers Workshop, and from what I have observed, I think this is absolutely the way more schools should go.
Carla Santorno is quoted as saying "This is an approach to teaching from which all students—from those not meeting standards to those exceeding them—can benefit," and I agree. This method encourages students to push themselves to their full potential, and works well with groups of students at varied skill levels in reading and writing.
I'd be interested to know if there are other elementary and/or middle schools in Seattle that were already using Readers and Writers Workshop before the grant and, if the district staff and the Alliance for Education even knows about them. Seems like this would be an excellent chance to build on the knowledge already present at Pathfinder (and perhaps other schools) and give the teachers already using Readers and Writers Workshop a chance to earn some extra money and/or recognition as trainers for other teachers around Seattle.
Visit the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project page to learn more about this instructional approach, and check out this elementary teacher's website from California that details how she uses the method in her classroom.