Inquiry into Reading Assessment: Teachers' Perceptions of Effective Practices

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Teachers confront a number of challenges in assessing children's literacy and one of the most fundamental is the selection of appropriate assessment tools. Teachers also continuously seek meaningful ways to document and assess student performance in formative and summative ways. The purpose of this study was to determine what elementary teachers' believe are the most effective assessment practices for gathering data about the reading performance of their students. Data collection was accomplished through the use of a Reading Assessment Survey distributed to 12 elementary schools throughout the greater Chicago area. The survey contained a listing of 38 assessment practices and a four-point Lickert-type scale, ranging from "not effective" to "highly effective," for teacher response. The data were analyzed by simple percentages. A discussion of the findings examines the views of beginning and experienced teachers, as well as primary and intermediate teachers. The conclusions suggest promising research directions.

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