Reading Assessment for Adolescents: A Tool Educators Use to Change Lives
by Laurie Carmon on March 4, 2021
I really enjoy my work. Each day, I have the opportunity to speak with administrators and teachers across the country who are passionate about making a difference in their students’ lives. I listen to educators’ stories and their needs as they search for the most appropriate instructional reading and math intervention solutions for grades K–12. We are in this together to support student success, and this makes me happy.
I have been in this profession for more than 25 years and have seen initiatives in education change over time. Right now, supporting teachers with learning the science of teaching reading (which has not been taught in most universities) is exploding across the country, and very likely, has had the most profound impact on student success.
Just look at Mississippi’s 2019 NAEP scores. This success is attributed to teacher professional development in the science of learning to read. And now, more than ever, school administrators and teachers know what they need to do to help students be better readers with confidence. This involves analyzing data provided by assessments to understand the individual needs of their students.
However, like managing a health condition to become stronger, educators know they need to continue to assess, monitor, and modify instructional needs just as a doctor assesses, monitors, and modifies a patient’s path to wellness.
Acadience® Reading K–6, developed by the work of Dr. Roland Good and Dr. Ruth Kaminski, is a research-based universal screener and progress-monitoring assessment, which provides teachers specific student information to pinpoint student deficits in phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, and reading comprehension.
As students enter middle school, the information from reading assessments is equally important for teachers to continue monitoring students’ independent, instructional, and frustration reading levels, and particularly, their reading skills. Middle school students are continuing to develop their reading skills, and they need support and guidance as they progress toward reading at or above grade level.
Acadience® Reading 7–8 is developed specifically for students in grades seven and eight, and serves as a universal screener aligned to the Common Core standards. This assessment includes passage reading covering major content areas, and comprehension measures developed specifically for higher-grade levels. Acadience Reading 7–8 allows students to be assessed three times a year so those who are at risk can be identified throughout the school year. The multi-gating process minimizes assessment time and reduces the number of students who are assessed individually—perfectly designed for large- and small-scale middle school test administrations.
Dr. Good speaks about the assessments he and Dr. Kaminski, along with the Acadience Research Team, have developed as tools to help change students’ lives. “However, it (assessment) is only a tool,” he said. “A tool needs an artist who’s going to work with that tool and use it to do something really important. A tool might be a chisel that a sculptor uses to create a beautiful sculpture. That sculptor needs a tool that is well weighted and sharpened—but the tool without an artist can’t create art. It needs the artist to create something great and meaningful and important.”
Dr. Good views Acadience Reading in that relationship with teachers, educators, and principals. “They’ve got to use this (assessment) to create something important,” he said.
With Acadience Reading, educators can do just that and change lives.
Laurie Carmon is currently manager of new business development for Voyager Sopris Learning® and has more than 25 years of experience supporting educators across the United States to successfully implement K–12 literacy and math intervention tools. She is passionate about helping administrators and their teachers to achieve student success, and she dedicates her career to develop strong partnerships with educators to achieve this goal.