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In this study, we investigate assertions that use of one-minute oral reading fluency measures, such as the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) Oral Reading Fluency (ORF) assessment and the aimsweb Reading CBM (R-CBM), may generate negative educational consequences, specifically teaching to ORF tests, increased pressure and anxiety for teachers and students, and misuse of ORF measures and results. We present results of a survey designed to gain perspective on teachers’ and students’ views related to these potential negative consequences. Data gained from 77 teachers and 875 students in two districts generally do not support assertions of teaching to the test, but do support some caution with respect to use of ORF measurements and data, and issues of anxiety, particularly from more vulnerable students. This paper provides detailed results across teachers and students, and implications for practice.

Since the publication of the National Reading Panel report (2000), increased attention has been paid to assessing oral reading fluency (ORF). Many districts use one-minute ORF measures, such as the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) Oral Reading Fluency assessment (Good & Kaminski, 2002) and aimsweb Reading CBM (R-CBM) (NCS Pearson, 2014). However, one-minute ORF measures have garnered intense scrutiny, with critics warning unintended negative effects of their use, such as teaching to the test (Tierney & Thome, 2006), increased pressure and anxiety for teachers and students (Goodman, 2006), and misuse of measures and results (Valencia, Smith, Reece, Li, Wixon, & Newman, 2010). In our search of the literature (Education Full Text, PsycINFO, PsycARTICLES, Science Direct, ProQuest), we found few empirical studies investigating or confirming negative consequences of using one-minute measures. Our study begins to address this void by surveying teachers and students in two districts that mandate one-minute ORF measures to understand their perceptions of the measures, how measures are used in schools, and how teachers engage students in instructional practices related to ORF.

Deeney_TeachersStudentsView_2016_Suppl.pdf (124 kB)
One-Minute Fluency Measures Tables



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