The Reading Wars through the NRC (2001) Looking Glass: Reflections on Testing for Reading and Reading for Testing

The reading wars (Pearson, 2004) have occupied the imagination of a generation of scholars trying to parse the relationship between phonics and whole language approaches to reading instruction. Balanced literacy (Pressley, 1998) has functioned to mediate these conflicting instructional approaches but has not resolved them, in part, because of the failure to specify the nature of the constructs under examination. We use an analytic framework based on the logic of assessment design (NRC, 2001) to examine how theories of cognition, observation, and interpretation are operationalized by advocates of each camp. Examples from various reading assessments such as PISA, CAASPP/Smarter Balanced, DIBELS, and Lexile are explored to enable comparisons within and across phonics, whole language, and balanced literacy assessment approaches. We also address the trade-offs related to reliability and validity evidence within the context of new reading assessment reforms (Garcia and Pearson, 2004).

Brent Duckor is Associate Professor in the Department of Teacher Education at San José State University. Dr. Duckor received his Ph.D. in Quantitative Methods and Evaluation at the University of California, Berkeley specializing in educational measurement, testing, and classroom assessment. He holds a Masters of International Affairs with a Business concentration from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Politics with Honors from the University of California, Santa Cruz. He has served on state and national boards providing educational assessment and measurement expertise to the California’s Commission on Teacher Credentialing, the California Department of Education, the College and Career Readiness Evaluation Consortium for the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships in Washington, D.C. He is President of Validity Partners, LLC.

Agnes Hodi is an Assistant Professor at the Juhász Gyula Faculty of Education, University of Szeged. Dr. Hodi holds a master’s degree earned at the Department of English Studies, University of Szeged and a postgraduate degree in EU affairs and project management. She obtained her Ph.D. in teaching and learning at the Doctoral School of Education. She has been part of the team managing the reading domain of the Hungarian Educational Longitudinal Program. She also collaborated in the development of the reading framework and item bank for the “Developing Diagnostic Assessments project” aiming to provide regular diagnostic feedback in three main domains of education. Currently, she is a Fulbright research fellow at San Jose State University.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019 - 2:00pm
Berkeley Way West
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