Handbook of Reading Assessment

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9780205531776: Handbook of Reading Assessment
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Comprehensive, readable, and filled with numerous authentic examples, The Handbook of Reading Assessment addresses the continuum of reading assessments from informal, classroom-based to high-stakes formal testing.

 

This much-needed resource addresses the wide range of reading assessments educators must be able to use and understand to effectively assess, instruct, and to communicate across disciplines. Separate chapters focus on informal classroom based assessment, progress monitoring, individual norm-referenced assessment, and group norm-referenced or ‘high-stakes’ testing. Each of these chapters concludes with useful tables listing some of the most commonly used assessments and their psychometric properties.

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From the Back Cover:

 Bell/McCallum, Handbook of Reading Assessment

 

Comprehensive, readable, and filled with numerous authentic examples, the Handbook of Reading Assessment addresses the continuum of reading assessments from informal, classroom-based to high-stakes formal testing.

 

Reviewers rave about the Handbook of Reading Assessment:

 

“The Handbook is a powerful resource to help readers carefully consider and select assessments to inform instruction. The authors address the areas of reading identified by the National Reading Panel, discuss various models of reading, and present guidelines for educators whose students may be at the elementary, secondary, or post-secondary levels. In addition, the authors have created an Inclusive Model of Reading that will aid educators in understanding the nature of common reading problems. I would highly recommend this Handbook.”

-Cheryl L. Cooke, PhD., Stillwater Area Public Schools

 

“The material is very helpful and inclusive. It helps teachers with recording and interpretation of results.”

-Margaret A. Deitrich, PhD., Austin Peay State University

 

“The discussion of intelligence and reading level is on point, relevant, and a strength of this text.”

-Bill Clarke, Literacy Coordinator for Blackstone Academy Charter School

 

Key Features

  • Balanced coverage of timely and controversial topics including English language and adult learners, the ‘reading wars’, scientifically-based reading research, and dyslexia.
  • Discussion of the International Reading Association’s reading assessment standards.
  • Criteria for selecting reading assessments allowing students to determine the best assessment tool to use with their students.
  • Instructional Tips bridging theory to practice.
  • Lists of resources for assessment and instruction of various areas of reading.
  • Over 100 figures and tables excerpted from various reading texts and assessments.
  • Comprehensive glossary.

 

Designed for use by advanced undergraduates and graduates in general education, reading education, special education, and school psychology, this much-needed resource addresses the wide range of reading assessments educators must be able to use and understand to effectively assess, instruct, and to communicate across disciplines.

 

 

Review:

From the May 2009 issue of "Language Arts"

 

by Silvia Peverini

 

I was eager to learn more about how to measure students’ literacy development so that I could better implement formative assessments. I got that and so much more from this handbook. Since I started teaching, I have always worked with pacing charts, testing schedules, and reading manuals that contain explicit instructions on how to teach the content. So much is prescribed that I’ve told my principal if I moved to a district that didn’t have all these materials, I wouldn’t know how to teach reading. This handbook is so thorough that after reading it, I feel like you could drop me off on a remote island and I would have a plan for my reading instruction. It’s true when they say that if you plan the assessment first, you know what needs to be taught.

The authors of this Handbook are upfront about their intent; they want this to be an inclusive volume that creates a common language and understanding of all reading assessments for all educators and educators-to-be. The result is a comprehensive look at the components of literacy assessment. It covers a wide range of topics, from the nature of reading itself, to a detailed look at various purposes and types of assessments, to criteria educators can use to choose and evaluate assessment instruments. To apply the content to real-life situations, the authors use four teachers as examples throughout the book. The teachers were aptly chosen, as I found myself frequently connecting to their dilemmas and solutions even though they ranged from first grade to adult education teachers. The truth is, we all face similar challenges.

The Handbook authors take a practical view of formal, group-administered achievement tests. When discussing high-stakes testing, they point out that such tests can give “a snapshot of current performance, a one-time assessment of what students can do at a moment in time,” but “they are not very good at providing growth-oriented assessment” (p. 210). However, the authors also note that measurement techniques are becoming more sophisticated, and formal group tests can be useful for gross progress monitoring and some instructional planning, among other things. I noted with interest that Dr. Popham’s guidelines for test preparation were discussed in the section on high-stakes testing prep. The guidelines state that test preparation should not violate the ethical norms of the profession and should not increase test scores without also increasing mastery of the domain assessed (p. 211). In the end, the authors note that teachers need to have an understanding of the progression of reading assessment, from simple classroom worksheets to formal, state-mandated tests, so they can know what each can and cannot do and how to best use them.

My favorite section of the Handbook is the final chapter, which the authors describe as “pulling it together.” Teacher expertise and judgment are once again featured prominently. I was encouraged to develop a wide range of assessment tools that I can use to create effective instruction. And while there is already plenty of assessing in my classroom, this handbook helped me understand where to focus my attention and time when analyzing student results and deciding how to best help my students become great readers.

 

Silvia Peverini is a fourth-grade teacher at Roosevelt Elementary School in the Long Beach Unified School District, Long Beach, California.

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