University of Pittsburgh School of Education

Where can I go online to learn more about reading assessment?

By Kimberly Simons, LEADERS Pittsburgh Staff Member

A broad spectrum of information is available online to teachers interested in learning more about assessing the reading and writing abilities and needs of their students. The resources offered by four particularly helpful websites are described below, with links to each website.

LEADERS encourages all participating teachers to join the International Reading Association (IRA). The IRA website includes a Reading Assessment subsection that includes the following resources:
  • Position statement that recommends how to set up a more accurate and balanced testing program for reading
  • Excerpts from current books on reading assessment issues
  • Articles on reading assessment
  • E-mail addresses to contact with questions
The Pennsylvania Department of Education website provides a PSSA (Pennsylvania System of School Assessment) section of information and resources to help Pennsylvania teachers align their classroom curriculum and lesson plans with the Pennsylvania standards and prepare students for the PSSA, including the Reading portion of these tests. Along with information about the tests, the complete Reading Assessment Handbook 2000-2001 is also available to read online or to download and print. Perhaps the most helpful resource is the Classroom Connections Resource Materials, designed to give teachers practical help in planning classroom instruction in alignment with Pennsylvania's standards.

Another excellent website, LDOnline, provides information and a bulletin board to facilitate online discussion among teachers about providing quality reading instruction to learning disabled students. The LDOnline home page provides a section entitled "For Teachers." After clicking on that section, choose the subsection entitled "Identification and Assessment Issues for Teachers" for a variety of helpful information, as well as access to the bulletin board.

Another useful set of resources is provided by the ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation. ERIC's standard services are provided through a large collection of research and information about assessment, which is organized into categories for ease of use. A test locator is also provided, allowing teachers to find out about specific assessment instruments. An unusual service offered by ERIC is a listserv called K12ASSESS-L, which is devoted to online discussion of assessment issues. Through the Clearinghouse website, teachers can subscribe/unsubscribe to the listserv and also read the archives of previous discussions of assessment issues.

Of course, there is a vast array of further information available on many more websites to any teacher who is willing to make use of internet search engines. However, these four websites provide a good starting place for finding online resources about reading assessment.