Reading tests

I have got to start the third part of my first module for my SEN assignment. It’s no use, I can’t avoid it any longer. It’s to do with data – “Critically reflect on your understanding, and the use of, one aspect of data relating to SEN in your context. (1500 words).” That’s 3 days worth of blogs – about an hour then! If only!

I have got as far as deciding what data I want to look at, I’ve decided to go with reading tests. In September we ran a Salford reading test on every child in the school – the data we got from it was interesting (and not always in a good way). Was it accurate? What was it telling us? How can we tell?

I now have another reading test that we have purchased that will not only tell us reading ages but give a comprehension score, a processing speed and probably make the toast too if only I read all of the manual. Initially I am going to choose a variety of children from across the school to give me a good range of abilities, ages, hair colour and all of those other statistical things that need considering and redo the Salford and the Burt (a free one I managed to find) and our new comprehensive one and compare the results.

Choosing the children – tick.

Completing the tests – planned in.

Interpreting the results – a complete unknown.

If all of these tests are as accurate as they should be then the reading ages of each child should be the same regardless of which test they take. I have a sneaking suspicion that there are going to be at least a few “anomalies”. Which is going to leave me with the big question – which is correct? Or are they all correct at that instant? It shouldn’t but does it matter who conducts the test? The time of day? So many variables to consider.

I apply for EHCPs for children and the paperwork asks for reading ages at various points and asks which test was used – do “they” secretly know something I don’t? Do they look and know that Test A always gives high results whereas Test B always makes children out to be worse than they are. How do I find out?

I’m not really looking forward to writing the essay and I’m not sure if I’m going to like the results but it should be interesting. It could be that 1500 words, which at present seems like a lot, may not be anywhere near enough.

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Reading tests

2 thoughts on “Reading tests

  1. The reason the tests vary is because they are standardised, not absolute. Students’ scores can change on the same test on different days, as well as between tests. This variance is built into the interpretation of standardised tests. Scores are reported with a degree of confidence – usually the score we use is the range that gives us 95% confidence, i.e we can be 95% confident that if the student had taken the same test on a different day they would have scored within the same range. As such, standardised tests are good for getting an overview of which students are likely to need help, but they rarely tell us what we need for specific teaching decisions. The test manuals should tell you the confidence range for each individual score. Best of luck with your assignment.

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