Please note: The resources have been presented on one DVD for your convenience. Interventions That Work: A Comprehensive Assessment System for Literacy Improvement is part of a DVD collection that focuses on a portfolio of interventions for meeting the needs of struggling readers. The interventions are part of the Comprehensive Intervention Model (CIM), a design for preventing reading failure in the early grades and reversing reading failure in the upper grades (Dorn & Soffos, 2011). Within the CIM, assessment and instruction are viewed as reciprocal and recursive processes that inform curriculum and instruction. The goal of the Comprehensive Assessment System (CAS) is to create a coordinated, decision making model for engaging educators in the assessment and instruction process. At the center of the CAS is the teacher-one who understands how to use assessment to inform and guide instruction. The collection includes a variety of assessments for measuring literacy progress at the school and student levels.
The premise is that if a student is not progressing, educators must look at multiple factors, including the literacy curriculum, the type of intervention, and the assessments used for progress monitoring. At the student level, teachers use a range of assessments to identify students who may be at risk for reading failure and to select the most appropriate intervention based on a comprehensive diagnostic process. During the intervention, teachers use informal measures to monitor a student's progress in response to the intervention. This thoughtful process requires teachers to be organized with data collection and analysis. In the CIM, teachers keep an Assessment Notebook that includes summative, formative, and progress monitoring data for all intervention students. During intervention meetings, the intervention teacher, in collaboration with the classroom teacher, uses this progress monitoring data to make decisions about a student's progress in relation to average performing peers. At the school level, educators examine the impact of the curriculum, assessment, and intervention on increasing literacy achievement for all students in the school.
Toward this goal, the school uses two measures: the Assessment Wall (AW) and the Environmental Scale for Assessing Implementation Levels (ESAIL). The Assessment Wall offers a transparent visual that allows educators to examine the gains of multiple groups on curriculum-based assessments, and to analyze collective data to inform decisions about interventions for low-performing students. The AW represents an achievement profile of the whole school, while providing a systematic approach for studying achievement patterns within subgroups that may be linked to instruction and intervention practices. The second measure, the ESAIL, enables schools to assess the school environment in four essential areas and to plan professional development based on collective evidence. Together, the AW and the ESAIL provide schools with a complimentary tool for studying the relationship of curriculum, instruction, and intervention on the literacy achievement of all students.