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Measuring reading growth: Not just test scores

favicon In our data-driven society, no matter where you go, everyone cares about the same thing: results. If you can’t quantify your gains, then too bad for you.

The same goes for reading instruction. It’s the end of the year, and I’ve been thinking a lot about results. Have my efforts made a difference? Are my students better readers than there were back in September? And if they are, how do we know?

Let’s get one thing out of the way: Tests matter most. Therefore, I’m relieved that students performed well on our online reading assessment, and I’m particularly pleased that Kindlers improved more than non-Kindlers.

But tests are just tests. They don’t paint the whole picture.

That’s why I believe that several measurements are necessary to assess student progress in reading. This year, we’ve tried these data points:

  • How many books / pages the students have read,
  • Reading stamina
  • Reading fluency
  • Whether students say they enjoy reading,
  • Whether students identify as readers,
  • How well students can independently use the reading strategies we’ve taught.

My goal next year is streamline this list down to 2-4 key indicators. That way, all teachers and students can track their progress on common, agreed-on criteria.

Which data points do you think are the most important? Or, do you suggest others? favicon

Please share your brilliant insights!