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Scholastic Reading Inventory (SRI) Review

Company: Scholastic
Assessment: yes
Instruction: no
Grades: K-12
Subject: Reading
Delivery: Online and Paper
The Scholastic Reading Inventory is an online measure of K-12 reading comprehension. Scores are returned on the Lexile framework, providing one measure of reading comprehension. While it is an adaptive assessment, it is not a fully diagnostic test and does not test across multiple constructs of reading. Case in point: for students with low academic vocabulary, one of the largest at-risk groups among secondary students in urban districts, the low Lexile score may seem to imply low comprehension strategies skills, but this is incorrect. For these students, low vocabulary will push their Lexile scores down, but their actual ability to process long sentences with complicated topics is high. In essence, the SRI is a combo vocabulary/comprehension strategies assessment. The lower of the two is the student’s score. Only by having high abilities in both can the student achieve a high Lexile score. This is problematic for diagnosis, especially in secondary education. The DORA assessment does not suffer this bias because its passages were written with low to minimal reliance on vocabulary. Vocabulary is measured by DORA via a separate vocabulary measure. One other comment about the SRI is that it allows look-back. More research is showing that while look-back is often taught in schools as a way to do well on state tests, it should not be used in a diagnostic assessment whose goal is to evaluate students’ true abilities in reading so that teachers can better instruct them.

  1. Herlinda Santos
    Reply 10/15/15
    I agree I think the SRI does a decent enough job of providing Lexile scores but it certainly isn't diagnostic. Readability tests are very limited.
  2. Sean Smith
    Reply 03/16/12
    We've been using the SRI for years. It does a great job of providing Lexile scores quickly. But it is certainly not diagnostic. English Language Learners tend to have low scores too because their vocabulary level is often low.

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