Culminating Project: Literacy Assessment Report

Culminating Project: Literacy Assessment Report

RDG/502 – Diagnosis and Remediation

University of Phoenix – Mary M., Instructor


Monday, August 4, 2014

Assessment report and Evaluation

(based on the secondary student information provided)


Name: Betty Phoenix School: (not provided)

Date of Birth: (not provided)   Report Author: JR

Age: 15 Grade: 8

Sex: F Examiner: (name not provided)

Date of Testing: (not provided)

Date of Report: 8/4/14


Educationally relevant health and development findings:

Information from the student profile shows that Betty passed the regular hearing screening given at school.  Betty does not wear glasses. She passed the regular vision screening given at school; Visual acuity is likely not adversely affecting Betty’s progress in reading.  No other relevant health information was available at the time of this report.


Classroom Observations and Relevant Academic Information:

Betty’s classroom teachers note that she is quite confident when speaking conversational English with her peers, but when she is asked to discuss concepts in her content-area classes, she is often unsure of the appropriate academic vocabulary. When asked to select a book to read, she invariably selects a book from the Junie B. Jones series, which is at the second grade reading level.  Teachers find Betty to be polite and willing to attempt to do her class work, but she seldom finishes an assignment.  The school’s social worker has visited the family, in part due to Betty’s many absences.


Betty may be repeating the eighth grade due to her previous year’s grades and her low score on the state-mandated reading achievement test for eighth graders. She has previously repeated third grade.   Betty is currently enrolled in an ELL program.

Anecdotal Information:

Betty’s first language is Spanish and she has been in and out of many programs for English language learners due to her family’s frequent moves around the country. She also has a documented period of non-schooling during third grade, when her family spent 3 months in Mexico taking care of an ill relative. Betty, her mother, and two younger siblings are living with an aunt. The school’s social worker has visited the family, in part due to Betty’s many absences as noted later in this report.  Betty appears to have normal intelligence (what this is based on what is not known at the time of this report).  A lateral dominance test was administered. Betty shows strong right-hand dominance in most activities, including the cone binocular test. In the simultaneous writing, she showed about the same amount of coordination with both hands.


ELL Classification

Betty is classified as an English language learner (ELL) and receives one period per day of ESL instruction. Information obtained from the ESL teacher indicates that Betty has remained at the intermediate level of language acquisition—according to the state-mandated test administered yearly to ELLs—since fifth grade. The expectation is that a student like Betty, who has been classified as an ELL during her entire school career, should have attained a level of advanced on the yearly ELL test, and sufficient scores on the state-mandated reading test to qualify her for exit from the ESL program. All of her instruction and assessment during the school day is conducted in English. All assessments included in this profile were administered in English.


Betty has remained at the intermediate level of language acquisition according to the state-mandated test, administered yearly to all ELL students, since fifth grade.  Exact scores were not available at the time of this report.

Tests Administered


Betty was given the Phone (Auditory) Discrimination Test

This test determines “points of overall phonemic confusion which could be predicted to be sources of difficulty in learning phoneme-grapheme correspondence”.

On this test she missed 8 of the 40 word pairs (scoring interpretation was not provided for this exam.  However based on the raw score, she arrived at 80% correct for this exam).


She was also given an Auditory Discrimination Test.

“Auditory discrimination tests (ADTs) are one type of auditory analysis tests, which are used to measure how well a child understands speech and the spoken word. ADTs are designed to measure a child’s phonological awareness—the ability to focus on and manipulate phonemes within spoken words. Phonological awareness skills include the ability to do the following:

  • compare and contrast speech sounds
  • separate and blend phonemes
  • identify phonemes within spoken words
  • combine phonemes into spoken words”


This test uses prerecorded tape of 80 words, Betty’s verbal duplication was poor. She had only 6 correct out of the 30 pairs of words that were different, but she correctly identified all 10 words that sounded the same.


The examiner observed no discernible pattern to the mismatching. Each of these tests was administered a second time with very little change. (valid administration)


Conclusion: The results of this test may be related to functioning in English as her second language.  However auditory processing disorders cannot be ruled out.  Her inadequate instruction also cannot be ruled out as a significant contributing factor.  This test is only a screening device and all results as applied to individual students and decision making should be interpreted with caution.


Academic Achievement


Betty’s scores on the TerraNova CTBS for the past 3 years:

TerraNova, Third Edition Complete Battery provides detailed diagnostic information. This series of assessments generates precise norm-referenced achievement scores, a full complement of criterion-referenced objective mastery scores, and performance-level information.”


TerraNova CTBS







Findings: Though Betty has been keeping pace on this test  with her development growth, she has not been making advances that outpace her developmental growth, showing very little growth in her vocabulary and comprehension scores during her 3 years of middle school.

Informal Reading Inventories


To determine at what level to begin the reading passages of the informal reading inventory, a word recognition inventory was administered to Betty. The administration was stopped at the level at which Betty missed four or more words.

Word Recognition Inventory
Grade Number of Errors
3 0
4 2
5 4

Oral and Silent Reading of Passages


Betty was asked to read aloud a passage at the third grade level while the teacher recorded oral reading errors. She was then asked a series of comprehension questions about the passage. Following this, she was asked to read silently another passage at the same level, followed by the accompanying comprehension questions. Following this passage, the procedure was repeated at the fourth grade level.


Grade % Correct (Comprehension) Level
3 80 Instructional
4 30 Frustration


Findings: Betty read very quickly and was able to correctly pronounce almost all of the words in both passages; however, she demonstrated a lack of awareness of end punctuation. She was able to answer 80% of the comprehension questions correctly at the third grade level, but she had a considerable amount of trouble responding to the questions about the fourth grade level passage. (why was this?)


San Diego Quick Assessment


Betty was given the San Diego Quick Assessment, which consists of a list of 10 words of increasing difficulty. Betty placed:

Instructional level: Grade 3
Frustration level: Grade 4

Summary of Data:


First language Spanish
Regular hearing screening Passed
Regular vision screening Passed
Conversational English Confident when speaking
Academic Vocabulary (CALP) Often unsure of the appropriate vocab
Repeated grades? Third grade 8th grade (pending)
ELL program Enrolled in pull-out program
Attendance Many current absence; historically poor Frequent moves Third grade spent 3 months in Mexico
Capacity to learn Appears to be normal
Handwriting Appears normal
ELL Development Intermediate level of language acquisition
Instruction during the school day English
Phone (Auditory) Discrimination Test missed 8 of the 40 word pairs
Auditory Discrimination Test. 6 correct out of the 30 pairs of words that were different Identified all 10 words that sounded the same.
TerraNova CTBS Grade






Word Recognition Inventory Grade Number of Errors
3 0
4 2
5 4 Administration was stopped at the level at which Betty missed four or more words.
Oral and Silent Reading of Passages Grade % Correct (Comprehension) Level
3 80 Instructional
4 30 Frustration
San Diego Quick Assessment Instructional level: Grade 3
Frustration level: Grade 4

Analysis of the results of informal and formal assessments administered to the student

By all accounts, Betty is functioning academically on a third grade level in word recognition and comprehension.  Furthermore, Betty’s performance on these assessments mirrors the difficulties that she is experiencing in her school work.  Given that Betty is keeping pace with her developmental growth as evidenced by her performance on the CTB, it is possible that Betty’s poor early instruction  and attendance is having lasting effects.  Despite the appearance of significantly low percentile scores, all of her scores on the CTB fall into the end of the low-average range (she in fact brought her vocabulary score from the borderline range to low average).  Given that such national standardized tests tend to inaccurately reflect the functioning of inner-city students, it is possible that her functioning is higher.  Her BICS English is strong, which may mask problems in her classes.

Further Questions Regarding Betty’s Present Levels of Performance to help in analyzing Betty’s case:

  • Has RTI been implemented?
  • Are ELL methods being used in the Gen Ed classes?
  • Is state-mandated testing a reason for retention?
  • Can she read/write in Spanish?  Would enrichment in Spanish be an option at the school (i.e. are Spanish classes offered?)?
  • What is the nature of instruction that she receives in the pull-out Ell Class?
  • If we know that her cognitive functioning is in the average range, can we assume that a full psycho-educational battery was conducted that would give us more information about her reading – i.e. does she display any processing disorders? (if so, how might this guide her instruction?).
  • What can the social worker tell us about the home?  Does she get enough sleep?  Are there books in the home?  Is there structured time for homework/reading?  Is there an action plan with the social worker to get these and other relevant items addressed?
  • Many students operate at intermediate level of ELL.  Is her overall intermediate level of ELL functioning to a large degree related to her reading in English?
  • What her level of Spanish?
  • What were the circumstances surrounding the first retention (She repeated 3rd grade, likely for being out of the country for 3 months).
  • Was she enrolled in school in Mexico for this period of time?
  • What information about her academic performance and assessment prior to 3rd grade is available.
  • What official action has been taken regarding her absences (other than the social worker visiting?)
  • What is the most important relationship:between level and reading, between her absences and reading, (other factors and reading). /CALP.


Other factors that should be considered that may contribute to Betty’s reading challenges:


  • Other cognitive factors such as memory and/or attention.
  • Other Language Factors such as a deficiency in phonological processing
  • Social and Emotional Factors such as Social and emotional maladjustment or Learned helplessness
  • Reading challenges may be generational
  • Poverty may significantly impair reading and writing development.
  • Educational Factors such as Using inappropriate materials or Lack of effective instruction

Explanation of the placement decision made for the student:


Betty Requires An Integrated Approach

Poor readers and writers often have difficulty organizing and relating new knowledge to what they already know.  As an 8th grader, Betty has amassed a fair amount of knowledge, and we can take advantage of her ability to make cognitive connections by encouraging her teachers to use a unit or theme approach with their entire class as much as reasonably possible.  This will consist of providing varied and relevant experience with key concepts.


Betty also requires direct instruction in phonics


The reasons for the program recommended for Betty is based, in part, on her present level of literacy.

Stage 1. Emergent Literacy

During the emergent literacy stage, children learn the function of print and develop phonological awareness (the ability to identify rhymes and the sounds in words).  Betty may have lingering weakness in phonological awareness from this stage, which may have hindered her progression in acquiring decoding skills.

Stage 2. Early Reading (Grades K–1)

Students use knowledge of letter–sound relationships and context to read printed words. Betty may still be struggling in many ways at this stage. At this level she may need direct instruction in necessary decoding skills.

Stage 3. Growing Independence (Grades 2–3)

At this stage, students are able to concentrate on meaning and are able to read about 3,000 words.  However Betty may not know this many words, and she may much of her reading time sounding out words. She should have access to reading materials that are easier for her.

Stage 4. Reading to Learn (Grades 4–6)

Comprehending informational text: Betty may have difficulty with the vocabulary and therefore the concepts of the materials. She may need specific instruction in vocabulary, morphemic analysis, contextual clues as well as with comprehension and study strategies.

Stage 5. Abstract Reading

Students synthesis information.  All Previous skills need to be applied at this stage.

Recommend interventions for the student that addresses the needs identified in the assessments.

(note that these recommendations are based on known information – when the numerous questions above are answered, the course of remediation may change)


  • Betty should not be retained.  Retention has been to be shown to be socially quite harmful (insert evidence from text) and will likely not achieve the desired goals (cite evidence).  This is especially critical given that Betty has already been retained once.
  • Betty may likely not qualify for Special Education services until she shows more consistent attendance (cite evidence).  However it is possible that she may have already had an IEP meeting.  However no information regarding this has been provided.
  • ELL staff should consult with Gen Ed teachers to implement ELL strategies, to especially focus on CALP vocabulary.  Betty may remember these words faster by memorization, especially as they are tied to images that represent them.
  • If ELL pull-outs are to continue, they should focus on CALP language for her academic subjects.  Given that she will likely have reading difficulties for the remainder of her academic career (cite evidence), reasonable accommodations based on RTI should be put into place as soon as possible to allow her to access the general education curriculum.
  • ELL may be discontinued or enhanced with Reading intervention if her qualification is primarily due to her level of reading in English.  The decision to remove ELL services must be made in collaboration, to include the family.
  • Remedial reading programs may need to replace or supplement ELL instruction (discuss which tier she will be on and brief summary of the process) select a program.  decide if top down or bottom up is app and why
  • Give Betty texts that are on or close to her appropriate level (so that she spends more time on task).
  • Betty may benefit from a language–experience approach; language–experience stories are based the reader’s experiences.
  • If Betty indeed has difficulty with phonological processing, an Orton–Gillingham Approach to reading remediation may be appropriate. However it is critical that she apply her decoding skills right away in her content area reading (which should be scaffolded anyway).  One such programs is Wilson Reading.

  • Have Betty use strategy of finding cognates from English to Spanish (but to watch out for false cognates) to aid in comprehension and vocabulary acquisition.
  • Consider use of high-interest web-based comprehension and fluency programs like Achieve3000, which are lexile-based.

Description of the benefits and challenges of continuous assessment and progress monitoring for the student.

A critical piece missing from the above assessment is that of the ‘non- measurable’ affective behaviors the students exhibit towards and when reading.  This information is critical in decision-making, in reading class placement, and to help with needed accommodations in Gen Ed classrooms based on RTI agreements.  This also helps family members understand why their children are having so much trouble with reading.


Though this may be time-consuming and a perhaps laborious to carryout, walking around the room and observing what a student is actually doing helps teachers better understand students’ needs in reading.  Informal assessments require a manageable system for keeping track of data.  However once this data is entered, it can be a powerful tool for making decisions for challenged readers.  For Betty, we would need the following:


  • Time on/off task in Gen Ed classes
  • Attitude towards reading
  • Avoidance behavior when it’s time to read
  • Teachers estimate of capable student is based on oral responses to questions.

Identification of formal assessments to be used in the future for progress monitoring and placement of the student:

  • The Wookcock-Johnson Test of Reading may give more comprehensive information regarding word-attack skills and other reading skills.  This test is not intended to be administered every year.


  • A Lexile assessment (SRI, etc.) allows for ongoing assessment of reading fluency based on high-interest passages.  The Lexile number is standardized and transfers easily from school to school.


Recommended Plan for communicating results to parents and for involving them in the proposed literacy interventions.


The classroom teacher will call the family during the semester to involve the family in the learning process and discuss ways that they can help their child at home to become a better reader.  This may be by having Betty read books at home in Spanish or English or her level and answer comprehension questions.  The literacy specialist and/or ELL teacher will call the family discuss reading classes or other interventions.   A specialized report may be sent home at the same time as the regular report card.  Family will be invited to every meeting and a translator will be provided.  Avoid comparing a child with other children.  Also avoid precise numbers, rahter explaining that he or she is reading below average and has a reading problem.



If there are questions about the report, this report author can be contacted at:




The University of Phoenix


Opitz, M., Rubin, D., & Erekson, J. (2011 ). Reading Diagnosis and Improvement: Assessment and Instruction [University of Phoenix Custom Edition eBook]. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon. Retrieved from University of Phoenix, RDG/502 website.


Gunning, T. G. (2009). Assessing and Correcting Reading and Writing Difficulties 4th edition [University of Phoenix Custom Edition eBook]. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson. Retrieved from University of Phoenix, RDG/502 website.


Kelly, C. (2011). Reading Intervention Programs: A Comparative Chart. Retrieved from


RTI Action Network. (2014). Learn About RTI. Retrieved from



Outstanding work JR! You successfully examined the assessment results and created an assessment report with recommendations! The use of headings made it very easy to distinguish between the key elements. You substantively analyzed the results of the formal and informal assessments and explained the placement decision made for the student. You recommended appropriate interventions to address the needs of the student. The challenges and benefits of progress monitoring were also included. Nice! You thoroughly presented a plan for communicating the results to parents. A reference page was also included to support your findings. Excellent job! If you have any questions, please let me know.

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