Companies Partner to Develop Literacy Assessment

Lexia Learning® has announced a long-term strategic partnership with researchers from the Florida Center for Reading Research (FCRR) focusing on research and innovation in the area of language and literacy assessment. In 2014, Lexia and FCRR will launch a computer-adaptive, K–12 assessment to provide teachers the instructional strategies necessary to address individual student skill gaps.

The announcement comes amidst ongoing backlash against the amount of time students in America are spending taking assessments. A recent Lexia survey of more than 7,000 educators showed that teachers spend the equivalent of 17 instructional days administering, scoring, recording and analyzing reading assessments. Through collaborative research and development with FCRR, Lexia aims to provide a more time-efficient assessment to help teachers reclaim almost a month of instructional time for teaching.

“Backed by federal grants from the Institute of Educational Sciences (IES) to Florida State University, the new assessments provide precise and efficient estimates of students’ language and reading abilities in grades prekindergarten through 12,” said Dr. Barbara Foorman, author and principal investigator on the grants. Co-authors Dr. Yaacov Petscher and Dr. Chris Schatschneider of FCRR also point out that ”the technology-based assessment will provide an adaptive experience that requires students to respond to fewer test items in order to reach a highly valid and reliable ability score for each student. As a result, the assessment process will become more time-efficient and keep students engaged at the proper level of challenge. “

Schools will use the new Lexia assessment three times per year—in the fall, winter, and spring—with progress monitoring on reading skills available for monthly use. The solution can be used as a universal screener, which will predict to grade-level cut points on norm-referenced reading achievement tests. The Lexia assessment will also provide students with listening or reading comprehension passages and diagnostic tasks that give profiles of their strengths and weaknesses.

Following a limited pilot implementation in fall of 2014, the assessment will be available for state- and district-level implementation in the fall of 2015.

The Florida Center for Reading Research is a multidisciplinary research center at Florida State University that is home to nine tenured and tenure-track faculty members holding joint appointments with the College of Arts & Sciences or College of Education.