Reading Assessment

Why, What, and How do we assess reading?

Defining Reading:

the act of constructing meaning from text. We use skills, strategies, and prior knowledge, all of which are developmental in nature, to understand what we read. The act of reading is supported by reader motivation and postive reader affect. We read to help us achieve our goals, within and outside school.

Purpose of assessment

Literacy is very complex...
It is a process involving skills and strategies in relation to personal intellectual and social goals. Reading on its own can be portrayed as a dynamic and goal-oriented process that involves skills, strategies, prior knowledge and the reader's purpose (Afflerbach, 2012).
Assessment helps us understand the strengths and needs of each of our students. All assessment should be conducted with the purpose of helping our students achieve in reading. In so doing, we must consider our reading program's goals and outcomes as we support reading development. We need to also take into account the many materials and procedures necessary to assess.

Determining Suitability

Assessment quite possibly represents the key to achieving a "learning society." However, it is also a big stumbling block (Johnston & Costello, 2005).
The CURRV Model:
C-consequences, U-usefulness, R-roles and responsibilities, R-reliability, V-validity


There is a lot to keep in mind when looking for appropriate reading assessments. Not only does it need to fit the teacher's needs to plan for instruction and personal growth for their students, but it also needs to fit with the requirements of the school and its stakeholders. By keeping in mind the above mentioned CURRV model, best fitting assessments can be found and implemented for best practice. Best practice is then found when we link our assessments with curriculum, standards, and constructs.

Flyer edited by: Katherine Gross

Afflerbach, P. (2012). Understanding and using reading assessment, K-12 (2nd ed.). Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

Johnston, P., & Costello, P. Principles for literacy assessment. Reading Research Quarterly, 40(2), 256-267. Retrieved July 6, 2014