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Types of Reading Assessments

An effective, comprehensive reading program includes reading assessments for four purposes:

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Screening Assessments

Purpose: To determine children who are likely to require additional instructional support (predictive validity).

When: Early in the academic year or when new students enter school.

Who: All students

Relation to instruction: Most valuable when used to identify children who may need further assessment or additional instructional support.

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Diagnostic Assessments

Purpose: To provide specific information on skills and strategy needs of individual students.

When: Following screening or at points during the year when students are not making adequate progress.

Who: Selected students as indicated by screening or progress monitoring measures or teacher judgment.

Relation to Instruction: Provided specific information on target skills; highly relevant.

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Progress Monitoring Assessments

Purpose: Frequent, timely measures to determine whether students are learning enough of critical skills.

When: At minimum 3 times per year at critical decision making points.

Who: All students

Relation to Instruction: Indicates students who require additional assessment and intervention.

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Outcome Assessments

Purpose: To determine level of proficiency in relation to norm or criterion.

When: Typically administered at end of year. Can be administered pre/post to assess overall growth.

Who: All students

Relation to instruction: Provides index of overall efficacy but limited timely instructional information.