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Reaching an Understanding

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Table of Contents

Section I: Assessment, Learning, and Instruction: Connecting Text, Task, and Reader/ Learner 1. Assessing Multiple Source Comprehension Through Evidence Centered Design Kimberly A. Lawless, Susan R. Goldman, Kimberly Gomez, Flori Manning, and Jason Braasch 2. The Case for Scenario-Based Assessments of Reading Competency Kathleen M. Sheehan and Tenaha O'Reilly 3. Assessing Comprehension Processes During Reading Keith Millis and Joseph Magliano 4. Searching for Supplementary Screening Measures to Identify Children at High Risk for Developing Later Reading Problems Donald L. Compton, Amy M. Elleman, and Hugh W. Catts 5. Assessment and Instruction Connections: The Impact of Teachers' Access and Use of Assessment-to-Instruction Software Carol McDonald Connor, Frederick J. Morrison, Barry Fishman, and Christopher Schatschneider 6. Multiple Bases for Comprehension Difficulties: The Potential of Cognitive and Neurobiological Profiling for Validation of Subtypes and Development of Assessments Laurie E. Cutting and Hollis S. Scarborough 7. NLP Methods for Supporting Vocabulary Analysis Paul Deane Section II: How to Build for the Future 1. An Explanative Modeling Approach to Measurement of Reading Comprehension Mark Wilson and Stephen Moore 2. Cognitive Psychometric Models as a Tool for Reading Assessment Engineering Joanna Gorin and Dubravka Svetina

About the Author

John Sabatini is a Senior Research Scientist in the Research & Development Division at Educational Testing Service in Princeton, NJ. His research interests and expertise are in reading literacy development and disabilities, assessment, cognitive psychology, and educational technology. He is the principal investigator of a Department of Education funded grant to develop pre-K -12 comprehension assessments. Tenaha O'Reilly is currently a Research Scientist at Educational Testing Service in Princeton, New Jersey. His research interests include a variety of topics relating to reading comprehension, metacognition, background knowledge and summative assessment. Elizabeth R. Albro, Ph.D, is currently Acting Commissioner of the National Center for Education Research, Institute of Education Sciences, at the U.S. Department of Education. Dr. Albro received her doctorate in Psychology from the University of Chicago, and served on the Child Development and Education faculty at Whittier College, and on the Psychology faculty at Wheaton College, Norton MA. She has spent the past decade overseeing research programs in the areas of reading and writing and cognitive science at the National Center for Education Research.


Reading comprehension research exploded in the 1980s based on advances in cognitive psychology. The field seems on the verge of another set of major advances. The stress on 'close reading' in the Common Core Standards forces a careful examination of what we mean by reading for understanding and new ways of looking at comprehension. This volume provides many fine ideas for new ways of understanding comprehension, measuring understanding and beginning to understand how to screen students for reading disabilities in a fashion that takes comprehension into account. -- Russell Gersten, director, Instructional Research Group, Los Alamitos, CA, and professor emeritus, College of Education, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR Reaching an Understanding: Innovations in How We View Reading Assessment builds upon the editors previous book Measuring Up: Advances in How We Assess Reading Ability by representing some early attempts to apply theory to help guide the development of new assessments and measurement models. Reaching an Understanding is divided into two sections: "assessment, learning, and instruction: connecting text, task, and reader/ learner" and "how to build for the future." These sections identify ways to assess students reading comprehension through multiple text sources, purpose readings, and assessment while a student is reading in order to determine deficits. In light of federal legislation towards common core standards and assessments, as well as significant national investments in reading and literacy education, it is a critical and opportune time to bring together the research and measurement community to address fundamental issues of measuring reading comprehension, in theory and in practice. -- Samuel B. Stewart, Ed.D. Executive County Superintendent, Mercer County Office of Education, Trenton, NJ

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