Volume 43, Issue 1 (2014)
Reading Assessment: Reading Fluency, Reading Fluently, and Comprehension—Commentary on the Special Topic
John L. Hosp & Nicole Suchey
Over the past few decades, reading assessment has been pushed to the forefront of the national discussion about education. The most recent reauthorizations of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (1994, 2001) made assessment a priority as administrators and teachers are attempting to meet increasing accountability standards, but measuring reading ability is a difficult task (Anderson, 1972; Duke, 2005; Pearson & Hamm, 2005; Sweet, 2005). Part of the difficulty lies in the complexity of the reading process itself. Reading is most often viewed as a multidimensional construct, as suggested by models of reading that focus on different levels of understanding (Davis, 1944, 1968; Kintsch, 2004; Perfetti, 2007). Moreover, reading is a complex process that changes depending on the type of text, purpose for reading, and reading topic (Anderson & Pearson, 1984; Pressley, 2000; RAND Reading Study Group, 2002). The complexity of the reading process makes it challenging to assess exactly what is happening when readers read and understand text.
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