An Analysis of Early Literacy Assessments Used for Instruction

CIERA Report #2-013

Samuel J. Meisels and Ruth A. Piker
University of Michigan

CIERA Inquiry 2: Home and School
What classroom-based literacy measures are available to teachers and how can we best characterize the instructional assessments teachers use in their classrooms to evaluate their students' literacy performance?

This report focuses on results of a systematic study of instructional assessments of early literacy designed by teachers and other educators for use in K-3 classrooms. The report presents the methodology and coding scheme used for collecting classroom-based measures and evaluating their content. It provides data about how reading and writing skills are assessed by teachers and shows the relationship between the skills included on these assessments and the skills associated with national standards and benchmarks. It also characterizes the instructional assessments teachers use in their classrooms to evaluate their students' literacy performance in terms of categories of skills assessed, types of assessment models utilized, differences in student responses elicited by the assessments, forms of administration, types of mental processing required of students, and other parameters. The discussion concerns questions about the psychometric properties of these assessments, their relationship to national standards, and their place in the instructional process for classroom teachers.


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