k-2 writing (1)Oakland Schools supports local districts in implementing multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS).  The goal of an MTSS framework is to ensure high levels of engagement and achievement for all students through the use of a coordinated, collaborative, data-driven school-wide system.  Assessments for three specific purposes underlie a successful, sustainable MTSS framework for literacy.  These three purposes are described below.

Universal Screening

Universal screeners are typically administered to all students at a grade level three times per year. The information gained from this screening, helps teachers answer the question, “Is this student on track to meet end of the year expectations?” The data reflects only who is on track/off track for meeting end of the year expectations; it does not inform teachers as to what to teach next.

Characteristics:
  • Benchmarked and predictive
  • Quick- less than five minutes per student
  • Text level of difficulty is set at end of the year expectations

Examples of Universal Screening assessment tools include AIMSWeb and DIBELS measures.

Diagnostic Assessment

Diagnostic assessments are typically administered to students at a grade level three times per year. The information gained from this assessment helps teachers answer the question, “What and how do I need to teach tomorrow based on the student’s individual strengths and needs? What problems are occurring?”  The data gained from this assessment gives teachers specific information for an instructional focus and reflects each student’s current strengths and weaknesses.

Characteristics:
  • Hones in on individuals strengths and weaknesses
  • Lengthy to administer
  • Text level of difficulty is adjusted based on student performance in the moment
  • Individually administered

Examples of Diagnostic Assessments include Fountas & Pinnell Benchmark Assessment, Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA), and Qualitative Reading Inventory (QRI).

Progress Monitoring Assessment

Progress monitoring assessments are used when students are participating in small group instruction or supplemental intervention to determine whether the instruction is producing the desired results in the prescribed time frame.  The information gained from this assessment helps teachers answer the question, “Is the student making enough progress as a result of instruction or intervention to achieve his or her goal?”   Information gained from this type of assessment lets teachers know if students are on track / off track to meet their individual learning goals.  Progress monitoring assessments may be internal (specific to and embedded within a particular intervention or instructional approach) or external (independent of the particular intervention or instructional approach)

Characteristics:
  • Alternate forms at the same level of difficulty exist
  • Text level of difficulty is matched to the student’s instructional level
  • Sensitive to small changes or growth over a relatively short amount of time
  • Growth is compared with a criterion or performance benchmark, not chronological age
  • Quick- less than five minutes per student

Examples of Progress Monitoring assessment tools include AIMSWeb, DIBELS, curriculum-based measures (i.e.: oral reading fluency), mastery unit assessments within a program, and running records.

 

Please visit MDE’s Early Literacy Initiative Overview webpage to learn more about the purposes of assessments and view MDE-Approved Acceptable Assessment Tools for Early Literacy Educators.