School Psychology

January 8, 2007 6:32am CST
behaviors that children must master in their school careers. Composed of a large set of sub- skills, all of which are interrelated in achieving success, children may not learn to read adequately due to the failure to learn any one of these component skills. Because many children referred for evaluation have been experiencing reading difficulties, school psychologists must be skilled at the assessment of this area of basic skills. Although increasing interest appears to be present among school psychologists in reading assessment (see Elliott & Piersel, 1982), other data indicate that general achievement tests and some diagnostic tests are still the primary way school psychologists assess reading ( Goh et al., 1981). The two tests that often have been used are the PIAT and WRAT. Each of these instruments contains reading subtests that result in a global reading achievement score. The WRAT contains a reading recognition subtest that re- quires individuals to read words out of context. The PIAT contains a similar subtest as well as a reading comprehension subtest that has subjects silently read short sentences and then point to the correct pictorial representation of the sentence. Psychometricially, neither the WRAT nor PIAT meets acceptable criteria for making educational decisions regarding placement or intervention strategies ( Salvia & Ysseldyke, 1978). Further, as noted in chapter 3, the instruments suffer from problems in test/curriculum overlap. Perhaps most important for use as a behavioral assessment measure, these norm-referenced, standardized instru- ments cannot be repeatedly administered without sacrificing the interpretability
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