1st Edition

Making Assessment Matter
Using Test Results to Differentiate Reading Instruction

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ISBN 9781462502462
Published January 16, 2012 by Guilford Press
143 Pages

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Book Description

All too often, literacy assessments are given only for accountability purposes and fail to be seen as valuable resources for planning and differentiating instruction. This clear, concise book shows K-5 educators how to implement a comprehensive, balanced assessment battery that integrates accountability concerns with data-driven instruction. Teachers learn to use different types of test scores to understand and address students' specific learning needs. The book features an in-depth case example of a diverse elementary school that serves many struggling readers and English language learners. Reproducible planning and progress monitoring forms can be downloaded and printed in a convenient 8 1/2"" x 11"" size.


Table of Contents

I. Foundational Issues for Data-Driven Instruction
1. A New Relationship with Student Data
2. Why Many Readers Fail
3. An Assessment Battery That Works
II. Assessment Considerations for Special Populations
4. Assessment to Support Struggling Readers
5. Considerations for Linguistically Diverse Students
III. Action Steps for Improved Instruction
6. Identifying Instructional Priorities and Designing Effective Instruction
7. Putting Schoolwide Response to Intervention in Place
8. Leading Data-Driven Instruction

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Nonie K. Lesaux, PhD, is Marie and Max Kargman Associate Professor in Human Development and Urban Education Advancement at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her research focuses on increasing opportunities to learn for students from diverse linguistic, cultural, and economic backgrounds. Dr. Lesaux is a recipient of the William T. Grant Scholars Award for her research on English language learners in urban public schools and of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor given by the United States government to young professionals beginning their independent research careers.
Sky H. Marietta, EdD, is the Curriculum and Instruction Specialist at Pine Mountain Settlement School, a not-for-profit organization focused on improving opportunities for children in Appalachia, and a research fellow at Berea College. Previously, she was a postdoctoral fellow and lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her work examines connections between language, culture, poverty, and reading achievement, with a special emphasis on rural populations and science literacy. A former elementary teacher, Dr. Marietta has worked with numerous teachers and districts on implementing efficient and informative literacy assessment systems. She is coauthor with Nonie K. Lesaux of Making Assessment Matter


"This is one of the strongest and most engaging books I have ever read. It speaks directly to teachers about issues that are meaningful to them. I love the book's focus on code- and meaning-based skills, assessment, and instruction. Lesaux and Marietta provide the tools for teachers and schools to bring these ideas to their classrooms. Especially appealing are the realistic examples and the careful scaffolding of assessment practices.  I work in high-poverty, low-performing schools on a routine basis, and this book needs to be in the hands of teachers and principals in these schools. It will make a difference to student learning. I would also use the book in my undergraduate course on early literacy and my graduate course on assessment."--Diane M. Barone, EdD, Foundation Professor of Literacy Studies, University of Nevada, Reno 

"I wish this book had been available 12 years ago when I first began to work on a whole-school change process. It is an important, uniquely helpful resource that I highly recommend to literacy leaders, coaches, and administrators as a road map for effecting literacy improvement through sensible alignment of assessment and instruction. The authors have managed to capture the complex nature of reading and reading difficulties, while not making the discussion complicated! I especially appreciated the focus on providing high-quality classroom instruction (for the good of the whole class) while acknowledging the individual needs of specific students. The respectful tone and clear recommendations for more deliberate instruction will make this book a welcome addition to the library of anyone committed to improving reading for all students."--Marjorie Y. Lipson, PhD, Professor Emerita of Education, University of Vermont

"Lesaux and Marietta clearly know what it is really like in schools and classrooms today. They offer a balanced perspective on assessment that acknowledges the realities of high-stakes testing while keeping students’ learning needs the central focus. The book provides a systematic way for teachers and administrators to make the shift from assessment of learning to assessment for learning. The approach presented here is doable and realistic."--M. Susan Dee, MSEd, classroom teacher, Biddeford, Maine

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