Measurement Inc. Releases a Study of American Reading Company's Independent Reading Level Assessment Framework

In a study conducted by Measurement Incorporated, an industry leader in delivering research and evaluation services to educational institutions, experts and practitioners alike agree that the IRLA® formative assessment framework does indeed offer a multitude of benefitsfor students, teachers, parents, and administrators. The IRLA:

  • can be used to find a valid and reliable baseline (independent) reading level, PreK-12;

  • is built on the Common Core Standards for Reading;

  • helps teachers get to know the Common Core;

  • helps teachers improve their instruction by moving them to the 3 Shifts in the Common Core;

  • provides diagnostic information about each student that is useful to students, parents, teachers, and administrators;

  • helps teachers track student progress in real time;

  • helps teachers learn to teach reading;

  • helps teachers get to know their students;

  • provides a low-stakes accountability system for schools or districts;

  • helps organize written materials, ensuring all students (at every reading level) have enough things they can read and understand on their own and therefore enough opportunity for sufficient independent reading practice.

Additional findings highlight the IRLA Framework’s nuanced attention to phonics, academic vocabulary, comprehension, and the establishment of a means to assess independent reading levels for students in Grades 6–12, noting its superiority to traditional informal reading inventories in each of these categories. Another prominent strength of the IRLA Framework is evident in its straightforward alignment to the Common Core State Standards. Teachers and school leaders will no doubt appreciate the explicitness of the connections.

Founded in 1980, Measurement Incorporated provides educational and professional examinations, program evaluation, and related services to state and local governments, other testing companies, and various professional organizations. Their list of satisfied customers includes more than 32 state and local departments of education and more than 15 corporate clients and partners. MI has been a leader in the development of authentic assessment instruments since before the name was applied and is equipped to conduct statistical research and analysis on an ongoing basis. They are uniquely qualified to ensure that assessment materials—whether individual items, entire tests, or batteries of tests—are both psychometrically sound and legally defensible.

Measurement Incorporated enlisted expert reviewer Dr. Kristin Conradi, assistant professor of literacy education, North Carolina State University. She remarked, “The intuitiveness and transparency of [the] IRLA is probably the most beneficial aspect of the framework and will serve parents, teachers, and administrators well. Because both foundational level and comprehension standards are unpacked in the assessments, teachers can immediately use information to then inform instruction and help their students make progress,” specifically identifying the IRLA as useful in providing actionable diagnostic information for all stakeholders in the education process.

Developed by American Reading Company, The IRLA is a formative assessment framework that supports students, teachers, parents, and administrators as they make the Common Core the academic road map for their everyday work. The IRLA maps the reading process from a pre-reading stage to college and career readiness. It can be used either to support existing reading instruction or to provide an action planning framework for large-scale school reform. Web-based eIRLA dashboards allow administrators to track the average rate of reading growth, in real time, in each classroom and school in order to establish and monitor useful systems for teacher and administrator learning.

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