There is broad agreement that schools should implement early screening and intervention programs. State legislation generally favors the use of universal screening within schools across grades K-2.
Screening assessments can help capture each child’s reading and language strengths and weaknesses in key early stages of development.
Screening for dyslexia risk should be part of a decision-making framework that answers four fundamental questions.
When evaluating the quality of any screening tool, it is important to determine whether or not the assessment is biased against different groups of students. We want to ensure that students do not receive higher or lower scores on an assessment for reasons other than the primary skill or trait that is being tested.
Classification accuracy is a key characteristic of screening tools. A goal in classification accuracy is to correctly identify issues that result in a later problem and situations in which the scores identify issues that do not result in a later problem.
Assessment is a process of collecting information. Screening is an assessment process that helps teachers identify students who are at risk for not meeting grade-level learning goals.
Reliability is the consistency of a set of scores that are designed to measure the same thing. Reliability is a statistical property of scores that must be demonstrated rather than assumed.
Sample representativeness is an important piece to consider when evaluating the quality of a screening assessment. If you are trying to determine whether or not the screening tool accurately measures children’s skills, you want to ensure that the sample that is used to validate the tool is representative of your population of interest.
Validity is broadly defined as how well something measures what it’s supposed to measure. The reliability and validity of scores from assessments are two concepts that are closely knit together and feed into each other.
The research reported here is funded by awards to the National Center on Improving Literacy from the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, in partnership with the Office of Special Education Programs (Award #: S283D160003). The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not represent views of OESE, OSEP, or the U.S. Department of Education. Copyright © 2022 National Center on Improving Literacy. https://improvingliterarcy.org