Four Questions to Ask After Universal Screening

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Four Questions to Ask After Universal Screening

Four Questions to Ask After Universal Screening

Screening for dyslexia risk should be part of a decision-making framework that answers four fundamental questions.

1. Is the student at risk for dyslexia or not meeting important pre-reading and reading goals expected for the grade level?

2. Is the student making enough reading progress to read proficiently and reach important reading goals?

  • Frequent reading assessments can monitor students' progress toward overall proficient reading and important reading goals.
  • These assessments can help determine if students are responding adequately to evidence-based instruction and interventions or if instruction and interventions should be modified or intensified.

3. Is the student reading with sufficient proficiency to meet grade level reading expectations and important reading goals?

Overall assessments can determine if students are reading proficiently and are reaching important reading goals.

4. For students not making adequate reading progress despite intervention, what additional intervention approaches have the best chance of improving the rate of reading progress?

Diagnostic assessments can provide detailed information about students’ reading skills for the purposes of developing and implementing individualized interventions for students.

Suggested Citation

National Center on Improving Literacy (2019). Four questions to ask after universal screening. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Office of Special Education Programs, National Center on Improving Literacy. Retrieved from


Petscher, Y., Fien, H., Stanley, C., Gearin, B., Gaab, N., Fletcher, J.M., & Johnson, E. (2019). Screening for Dyslexia. Retrieved from

Related Resources

Doing What Works

In this interview, Dr. Compton explains the purpose of universal screening, describes how it fits into a multi-tiered intervention system, and discusses using screening to identify students at risk for reading problems and place them into appropriate interventions.

Topic: General Literacy, Assessments, Screening

Doing What Works

Dr. Connor discusses the importance of progress monitoring and data-driven decision making in tailoring Tier 2 instruction. She provides guidance on assessing foundational reading skills at each grade level, selecting progress monitoring measures, and developing data-driven decision-making rules. In addition, she explains how to increase the instructional intensity for students needing Tier 3 interventions.

Topic: General Literacy, Assessments, Interventions