By the 2009-2010 school year, Florida schools will have a new assessment system to guide reading instruction not only for students in grades grades K-2 but also in grades 3-12, according to the Florida Center for Reading Research, which is developing the system with the Department of Education.
Based on decades of research, the Florida Assessments for Instruction in Reading will provide teachers with a system for screening, diagnosing problems and monitoring progress of K-12 students. The system features:
- The Broad Screen,
- the Broad Diagnostic Inventory,
- the Targeted Diagnostic Inventory,
- Progress Monitoring Tasks.
Assessments will be administered in September, January and April of the school year. In the beginning and middle of kindergarten, students will be screened for letter-sound knowledge and phonemic awareness. By the end of kindergarten, they will be screened for phonemic awareness and word reading, the best predictors of reading at that stage and in grades 1 and 2, for individual word reading tasks.
In grades 3-12, students will be screened with a computerized adaptive reading comprehension assessment. The Broad Diagnostic Inventory for grades K-2 only will provide diagnostic information for comprehension, vocabulary, and spelling (grade 2, only). The Targeted Diagnostic Inventory is a set of tasks designed to indicate key areas of instructional need in K-2 and grades 3-12.
In grades 3-12, maze and word analysis computerized tests will assess relative strengths and weaknesses in fluency, low level comprehension skills, and orthographic skills. These assessments will also provide schools with information about which students are on track to pass the state’s tests for grades 3-11, the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT).
Florida Center for Reading Research website 7/22/08