[AAACE-NLA] query on assessment
gdemetrion at msn.com
gdemetrion at msn.com
Sat Mar 17 18:34:03 EDT 2007
Next fall our program will be implementing the New Readers Press Voyager series. This includes a placement assessment that looks like it could also be used as a pre and post test, similar, perhaps to the LVA created Read Test. Currently, in addition to the CASAS pre and post we have used the DAR for a few years. In many respects the Voyager Placement is similar to the DAR, though it has two advantages over it: the reading passages are more authentic to adult experience and comprehension questions are built in even at the lowest levels.
>From a purely program perspective I can see several advantages of using the Voyager over the DAR; as the basis to place students in the respective groups, to better tie assessment and instruction; the adult themes of the reading passages, and the emphasis on comprehension at all levels. It is a better indicator of our balanced or integrative approach to literacy whereas the DAR, originated by Jean Chall, is much more geared to word identification and word meaning.
Ideally, one could use both. Practically speaking it would be overkill whether at intake or at some other time, considering also that our students take the pre and post CASAS on an annual basis.
Here's the question, which, perhaps Marie might also place on the assessment list--what would be lost and gained by doing so?
My take is that what is lost is a well respected assessment in the DAR that might garner a certain level of public credibility that a curriculum-based placement test, not designed for a pre and post, but which could easily fit within such a use. The gain is a more authentic-based assessment based on the curriculum in use.
If we were not using CASAS or some other widely recognized assessment I would be more reluctant to pull the DAR out, which has served us well, notwithstanding its perhaps overemphasis on phonemic analysis and word identification. However, since we do have CASAS, also an assessment at best only partially tied to our curriculum focus I am inclined to make the shift, though I am very much seeking the collective wisdom of the field.
I would say, write to me of line, except I think he issue is important and relevant enough for list-based discusion.
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