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Assessment Strategies and Reading Profiles

Researc Base: Then and Now

ASRP is a series of assessment strategies to improve reading instruction that work in tandem with the Department’s STudent Achievement in Reading (STAR) reading reform initiative. STAR is a professional development program in place in 21 states aimed at improving instruction for ABE Intermediate readers.

STAR and ASRP grow out of a common tradition of research and evidence-based practice based on the following central ideas:

  • Reading is developmental (Chall, 1983), meaning that reading develops according to identifiable stages: “learning to read” (acquiring alphabetics), “developing fluency” (smooth expressive reading), “reading to learn” (the ability to use reading to acquire new information).
  • Reading can be deconstructed into components, including phonics or word analysis, word recognition, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension (Chall, 1983; Perfetti, 1985).
  • Diagnostic assessment in the components of reading can be used to create reading profiles of the strengths and needs of individuals or groups (Chall & Curtis, 1990; Chall, 1994; Strucker and Davidson, 2003), and teachers can use this diagnostic information to design targeted instruction.

Find out more about the research base:

Chall, J. S. (1983). Stages of reading development. New York, New York: McGraw-Hill.

Chall, J. S. & Curtis, M. E. (1990). Diagnostic achievement testing in reading. In Reynolds and Kamphaus (Eds.), Handbook of psychological and educational assessment of children, V. I. New York: Guilford Press.

Chall, J. S. (1994). Patterns of adult reading. Learning Disabilities: A Multidisciplinary Journal, 5(1),29-33.

Perfetti, C. (1985). Reading ability. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Strucker, J. & Davidson, R. (2003). The adult reading components study. http://www.ncsall.net/fileadmin/resources/research/brief_strucker2.pdf

Both Print Skills and Meaning Skills contribute to Reading Comprehension.

Reading Components


   boxes of Print Components and Meaning Components pointing to Reading Comprehension


ASRP has selected five key reading components that illustrate the different patterns of reading strengths and weaknesses among adult learners: Word Recognition, Spelling, Word Meaning, Silent Reading Comprehension, and Fluency (oral reading rate). These components were chosen because they are major determinates of reading ability, and because most ASRP users will be able to find tests to assess them. Each of the components has its own section on the menu. To learn more about the components of reading, begin with the Print Skills, then view the Meaning Skills.

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