|Subject:||Reading and Math|
Notes:As stated by AIMSweb early developers, AIMSweb is a progress monitoring "system". It does not provide direct computer-based diagnostic (formative) assessments. It expects these to be paper and pencil assessments carried out by teachers via one on one testing. It started as a repository for DIBELS data. DIBELS, as a paper and pencil one on one assessment, gained popularity because of its ties to Reading First. So AIMSweb rode its coat tails by allowing schools to store their DIBELS data. AIMSweb focuses on being able to measure CBM, curriculum based measures. But teachers have to keyboard in their data.
Today, the "AIMSweb System" has become in addition a computer-based benchmark testing system customized to each state. They position it as a progress monitoring tool and have heavily marketed it as a Response to Intervention (RtI) solution. They have a three tier RtI diagram on the home page of their web site which is confusing because RtI contains "three" tiers too. So the less informed administrator many think they provide a complete technology based "solution" of RtI. Their RtI slides and webinars gloss over an essential part of RtI Implementation which is the ability to individually diagnosis every child especially those going into Tier 2 interventions and Tier 3 special ed programs. This overemphasis on just progress monitoring has lead to administrators implementing partial RtI plans and completely forgeting about diagnostic assessment. They assume it will happen or buy Tier 2 interventions without diagnosing whether those particular interventions are appropriate for the individual students. With current resouces levels, most classroom and intervention teachers don't have the resources to diagnosis students to drive differentiated instruction as required for Tier 2 students. Tier 3 students who are in special education of course already receive diagnostic assessment because legally special education teachers have to do diagnostic assess and are trained to do them.
So in conclusion, AIMSweb is a useful system. But often it is oversold as a total RtI solution which it is not. The blame for this is the marketing department at Pearson. Let's Go Learn can provide one of the most difficult pieces of the puzzle of RtI which is automated diagnostic assessment. This doesn't mean teachers won't do one on one diagnostic assessments at times. It just means that students won't NOT get diagnostic assessment which is often the case because there are usally too many students who are behind.