The assessment system for an effective schoolwide reading model should be continuous and flexible. Assessments should document student performance objectives and monitor student progress on those objectives. The measures should be technically adequate (i.e., have high reliability and validity) and all users of the measures should receive training and follow-up coaching on the administrations, scoring, and interpretation of the data.
Four types of assessment should be used within a school
screening, diagnostic, progress monitoring, and outcome assessments. Screening measures are used with all students (typically three times a year) and assist staff in identifying each student’s level of performance and instructional needs for the school year. Diagnostic measures are used as needed for additional information on student reading performance and assisting in problem solving when student performance in reading is less than desired. Progress monitoring measures are used to guide the effectiveness of reading intervention programs, as well as assisting in moving students within reading instructional groups. Finally, outcome measures (e.g., MEAP, Iowa Test of Basic Skills, etc.) are used to assist in gathering information on large system outcomes in the area of reading and to comply with state and district requirements.
At all levels, schools are using data to make instructional decisions for individual students, grade-levels, schools, and districts. For example, the DIBELS Summary Table allows grade-level staff and district administrators to examine their screening data over multiple grade levels at a glance. The Reading Progress Review Sheet assists grade levels in keeping track of who is receiving additional progress monitoring, as well as the status of student progress. The DIBELS Sorting Tool is used to assist grade level teams in organizing their DIBELS screening data and in planning for additional diagnostic assessment.