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Franklin County Department of Jobs and Family Services

School Readiness
Assessment: A Review of the
Literature
December 2007

RESEARCH AND REPORT PREPARATION:

Community Research Partners


Roberta F. Garber, Executive Director
Gary Timko, Ph.D., Director of Research Services
L. Shon Bunkley, Ph.D., Research Associate

Consultant to CRP: Base Art Co.

Franklin County Department of Jobs and Family Services


Douglas Lumpkin, Director
RESEARCH AND REPORT PREPARATION:

Community Research Partners


Roberta F. Garber, Executive Director
Gary Timko, Ph.D., Director of Research and Evaluation Services
L. Shon Bunkley, Ph.D., Research Associate

Franklin County Department of Jobs and Family Services


Douglas Lumpkins, Executive Director
Carmen Duckens, Assistant Policy Director
Contents

1. Introduction and Background


1
• Study Background 3
• Research Methodology 4
• Format of the Report 5
• Key Terms 6

2. The Debate over Assessing School Readiness in Young Children 9


• The Renewed Focus on School Readiness 10
• Why Assessing school Readiness in Young Children is Controversial 10

3. Best Practices in School Readiness Assessment


17
• Appropriate Uses of School Readiness Assessments 19
• Most Important Characteristics of an Assessment System 21
• The Ideal School Readiness Assessment Process 21
• Selecting an Instrument for Assessing School Readiness 22

4. Instruments for Assessing School Readiness in Young Children


21
• States’ Use of School Readiness Assessments 25
• Commonly Used Instruments and Their Alignment with Best Practices 30
• Properties of Commonly Used Instruments 35

5. Recommendations for Future Research 47


• Feasibility Study 49

References 51
Tables
Table1. States’ Policies Regarding School Readiness Assessment 27
Table 2. States’ Use of School Readiness Assessments 28
Table 3. How Commonly Used Screening and Assessment Instruments Align with 31
Best Practices
Table 4. Properties of Commonly Used Screening and Assessment Instruments 35
Figure 1. Most Frequently Used Screening and Assessment Instruments 30
1
Introduction and Background
This study provides a review of current and past
literature regarding definitions, best practices, and
instruments related to assessing school readiness in
young children. The study draws upon research
findings, position statements, and other sources of
information put forth by experts in the field of early
childhood education. The intent of this study is to
provide information that will inform future research
and plans regarding the establishment of a more
coordinated system of assessing school readiness
among 3, 4, and 5-year olds in Franklin County, Ohio.
The following section introduces the study and
includes descriptions of the:
• Study Background
• Research Methodology
• Format of the Report
• Key Terms Used in the Report

School Readiness Assessment: A Review of the Literature Page 1


Page 2 Introduction and Background
Study Background
Prekindergarten children’s preparedness for school has become a topic of interest in
Franklin County, Ohio. However, school readiness among 3, 4, and 5-year olds in the
county is currently assessed through a fragmented system, where several different
instruments are being used to capture children’s progress in a variety of domains,
including academic, social, emotional, and behavioral. The early childhood education
system in Franklin County is also characterized by a smattering of early childhood
centers that have activities with limited alignment to the curriculums and practices of
kindergarten classrooms across the county.
Part of the difficulty in establishing a more coordinated system lies in the fact that
Franklin County, like many other metropolitan areas nationally, has a decentralized
system of early childhood education, which has one large school district, surrounded by
several smaller school districts. Each district has its own policies, curriculums, and
instruments for assessing young children’s preparedness and progress. Although the state
of Ohio has several regulations, standards, and guidelines for providers of early
childhood education that provide some amount of standardization, there is quite a bit of
local discretion and flexibility with regard to how providers structure their programs and
services to meet state standards.
On one hand, having such a decentralized and fragmented system lends itself well to
school districts and early childhood education providers having the freedom to
implement policies and practices that they deem appropriate for the children of their
communities. At the same time, however, research (Horton & Bowman, 2002) has found
that this type of disconnect between early childhood experiences and kindergarten
expectations has the tendency to lead to children arriving in kindergarten classrooms
unprepared for the expectations of the educational environment, and to hamper the
potential for children’s future academic success. Plus, having such a defragmented
system limits the continuity of instruction received by children and impedes the
identification of community-wide trends related to young children’s preparedness for
school.
These are only few of the issues that make it difficult to plan and develop more formal,
coordinated systems of curriculum and assessment in Franklin County. This difficulty is
further compounded by the fact that a limited number of children in Franklin County
have access to early childhood education experiences, and even fewer have access to
quality, early childhood education experiences. In fact, in the percentage of children in
the U.S. ages 3–5 who attended center-based programs (i.e., day care centers, Head Start
program, preschool, nursery school, prekindergarten, and other early childhood
programs) decreased from 60 percent in 1999 to 57 percent in 2005 (National Center for
Education Statistics, 2005). With so many children not having early childhood education
experiences, school districts struggle to develop kindergarten classroom activities and
readiness measures that will meet the needs of all children.
One of the few systematic measures that education professionals and practitioners in
Franklin County use to gauge how well children’s level of preparedness will mesh with
the level of curriculum and instruction being provided in kindergarten classrooms is the
Kindergarten Readiness Assessment – Literacy (KRA-L), which assesses children’s
literacy skills upon entrance into kindergarten. Unfortunately, the KRA-L’s focus on

School Readiness Assessment: A Review of the Literature Page 3


literacy skills only provides limited information about children’s overall preparedness
and capabilities, an issue that curtails the ability of kindergarten teachers to see, and plan
instruction for, the full range of capabilities of the children that arrive in their
classrooms. The National Reporting System (NRS) is another assessment used in
Franklin County that can provide some information to kindergarten teachers about the
capabilities and prior educational experiences of their children, but it is only
administered to children that participate in Head Start programs. This makes it difficult
to assess the preparedness of children that are not attending Head Start programs.
In recognition of these issues, several community stakeholders, including the Franklin
County Department of Job and Family Services (FCDJFS), have become interested in
developing a more coordinated system of school readiness assessment that can better
align early childhood education experiences with kindergarten curriculum and
instruction, and prepare children for kindergarten and future academic success. To this
end, FCDJFS approached Community Research Partners (CRP) in 2007 about
conducting preliminary research on national best practices and instruments used for
school readiness assessment.
CRP is a unique nonprofit research center based in Columbus that strengthens Ohio
communities through data, information and knowledge. CRP is a partnership of City of
Columbus, United Way of Central Ohio, the John Glenn School of Public Affairs at The
Ohio State University, and the Franklin County Commissioners. Since 2000, CRP has
undertaken over 100 programs and projects in the areas of community data, applied and
policy research, and program evaluation, both within and outside of Central Ohio, and
across a wide range of program and policy areas. This report describes the findings of the
research on school readiness assessment conducted by CRP on behalf of FCDJFS.

Research Methodology
Research design
The project began with CRP working with FCDJFS to identify the scope of the research
to be conducted. Preliminary discussions led to the recognition that limited funds
currently exist for carrying out a larger, more comprehensive study. Thus, the parameters
of the current study have been limited to a review of best practices and instruments
related to assessing school readiness in young children, instead of the inclusion of more
rigorous methodologies that could reveal further information about the feasibility and
appropriateness of the practices and instruments identified through this review. As a
result, it is anticipated that the findings of this study will be used to help frame future
research regarding how to establish a more structured and systematic approach to
assessing school readiness in Franklin County.

Key research questions


The following research questions guided the study.
1. What are best practices for assessing the school readiness of 3, 4, and 5-year
olds?
2. What instruments are currently being used across Franklin County, in the state of
Ohio, and nationally to assess the school readiness of 3, 4, and 5-year olds that

Page 4 Introduction and Background


align with identified best practices? What does research indicate are the most
effective instruments for systematic assessment of school readiness?
3. What are the characteristics of the instruments identified, including their
strengths and limitations (e.g., cycle of administration, duration of assessment,
level of obtrusiveness, training required, domains measured, resources required,
etc.)?

Research methodology
To identify best practices and instruments found to be useful for assessing school
readiness among young children, CRP conducted an extensive review of current and past
literature put forth by experts and professionals in the field of early childhood education.
Sources of information included:
• Books
• Reports
• Position statements
• Periodicals
• Websites

Format of the Report


The report includes the following sections:
1. Introduction: background of the study, the research methodology, and the format of
the report
2. The debate over assessing school readiness in young children: what has been
learned about assessing school readiness among 3, 4, and 5-year olds
3. Best practices in assessing school readiness in young children: practices
recommended by experts in the field of early childhood education for assessing
school readiness among young children
4. Commonly used instruments for assessing school readiness in young children:
descriptions of the properties of instruments commonly used across the U. S. to asses
school readiness in young children, and how the instruments align with best practices
5. Recommendations for future research: suggestions for building upon the current
research which will help to refine plans for implementing a more coordinated system
of school readiness assessment in Franklin County

School Readiness Assessment: A Review of the Literature Page 5


Key Terms Used in the Report1
• Checklists: require teachers or parents familiar with children to indicate how well a
child can do specific tasks or knows certain content.
• Criterion-referenced: results of an individual’s performance are compared to a
predetermined criterion or standard to determine whether the individual has met the
standard.
• Direct assessments: an examiner asks children to perform certain tasks.
• Naturalistic observation: a teacher or other observer records children’s activities in
their regular classroom setting
• Norm-referenced: an individual’s performance is compared to the performance of a
peer group or sample.
• Psychometric properties: characteristics of instruments, such as reliability and
validity that ensure that an instrument consistently measures what it was intended to
measure.
• Reliability: consistency with which a test yields similar results over time, even when
administered in different forms or by different examiners. Reliability is assessed on a
scale from 0 to 1. A reliability score of .50 or below would raise serious questions
about the value of the instrument.
ƒ Internal consistency/reliability: the degree to which individual test items are
related
ƒ Inter-rater reliability: the degree to which different raters or observers give
consistent estimates of the same phenomenon.
ƒ Split-half reliability: divides test items into two based on randomly selecting
items and producing an estimate that is the correlation between the two total
scores.
• Screening: brief child assessment that can be used to identify children with
suspected disabilities or whoa re at risk of failing in school; further evaluation is
required.
• Standardized assessment: a testing instrument that is administered, scored, and
interpreted in a standard manner. It may be either norm-referenced or criterion
referenced.
• Validity: the degree to which an instrument measures what it is supposed to measure.
ƒ Content validity: the extent to which the components of an instrument include
the relevant content for the domain being measured.
ƒ Criterion validity: the degree to which an instrument correlates with other
measures of the same domain or construct measured.

1
Source of definitions of key terms: U. S. Department of Education (2007). A review of methods and
instruments used in state and local school readiness evaluations.

Page 6 Introduction and Background


o Concurrent criterion validity: the extent to which a test correlates with an
external criterion measured at the same time.
o Predictive criterion validity: an instrument’s ability to predict an
individual’s performance in specific abilities.

School Readiness Assessment: A Review of the Literature Page 7


Page 8 Introduction and Background
2
The Debate over Assessing
School Readiness in Young
Children
An ongoing debate persists among researchers,
experts, and practitioners in the field of early
childhood education over what school readiness is and
whether it should be assessed in young children. This
section provides an overview of the debate, including:
• The Renewed Focus on School Readiness
• Why Assessing School Readiness in Young Children
is Controversial

School Readiness Assessment: A Review of the Literature Page 9


Page 10 The Debate over Assessing School Readiness in Young Children
The Renewed Focus on School
Readiness
The recent focus on school readiness in young children has been influenced by
several events in the field of education and research that have called into
question whether our children are prepared for the expectations of school.
The concept of school readiness gained notoriety with the implementation of a formal
system of education in the U.S., but the concept recently began to receive greater
scrutiny around 1989, when then President Bush issued the declaration that “by the year
2000 all children in America will start school ready to learn (Andrews & Slate, 2001;
Snow, 2006).” In response, administrators and professionals began making changes to
early childhood education settings that could help to ensure and assess progress towards
achieving the goal. Other influences on the recent focus on the concept of school
readiness include:
• Increased accountability in public schools and early care education settings that
resulted in more rigorous, skill-driven educational settings
• No Child Left Behind legislation that led to a significant increase in testing children
nationwide
• “High stakes” testing in the upper grades that contributed to the development of
more formal curriculums in kindergarten classrooms
• Advances in research regarding children’s brain development which informed the
public that early learning is critical to children’s learning and development
(Newberger, 1997)
• Research findings which indicated that America’s children enter kindergarten less
prepared for school than was hoped (National Center for Education Statistics, 2004;
Pianta & LaParo, 2003).
An unfortunate consequence of these events is that the field of early childhood education
changed dramatically. Kindergarten classrooms and other early childhood settings
gradually became more structured, the use of standardized testing with children became
more common, and the skills and knowledge young children needed to be prepared for
school increased significantly. In light of this changing landscape and reports of
America’s kindergarteners lacking the necessary skills for success, the issue of how
school readiness is being defined and assessed has become a heated topic of debate.

Why Assessing School Readiness in


Young Children is Controversial
The controversy surrounding the measurement of school readiness in young
children largely centers around two issues: defining school readiness and
identifying the intended use of readiness assessments.

School Readiness Assessment: A Review of the Literature Page 11


Another source of conflict among early childhood professionals is competing
philosophies regarding the appropriateness of measuring school readiness in children.
Some experts believe that children are ready for school just by virtue of their age and
assessing their school readiness is unnecessary. Others believe that some kind of
assessment needs to be performed to accurately gauge what children can do, and to plan
instruction that meets the needs of all children. Evidence of such competing philosophies
is the pendulum swing from testing children through standardized measures in the early
1990s to more recent attempts to assess children’s learning through more informal and
less obtrusive methods, like teacher observations of children in naturally occurring
activities (Horton & Bowman, 2002). Two of the more salient issues that make it
difficult for early childhood professionals to agree on whether school readiness should be
measured in children are: the difficulty in defining school readiness and concerns
regarding the intended use of readiness assessments.

Difficulty defining school readiness


The problem of defining school readiness lies in the fact that early childhood education
professionals themselves have not yet reached agreement on a consistent definition of
school readiness (Graue, 2006; Keating, 2007; Snow, 2006; Maxwell & Clifford, 2004).
Most definitions center largely on the skills and capabilities of children. For instance,
Snow (2006) defines school readiness as, “the state of child competencies at the time of
school entry that are important for later success ( p. 9),” and the National Governor’s
Association Center for Best Practices (2005) similarly defines school readiness as
expectations of how children will fare upon entry to kindergarten . Some definitions are
context-specific and change depending upon what early childhood professionals deem
appropriate for children to know and be able to do in certain situations. More recent
definitions do not limit assessments of readiness to what children know and can do, and
promote a more holistic view of children that takes into account a number of different
influences on their learning and development (Aiona, 2005; Andrew & Slate, 2001;
Bruner, Floyd, & Copeman, 2005; Graue, 1993; Lewitt & Baker, 1995; Snow, 2006).
Over time, however, experts have come to generally agree that children must possess
certain capabilities before they enter school that will help them to experience future
success in educational settings. The point of contention is the continued debate over the
specific types and levels of skills children should possess. Without a firm definition of
school readiness, it becomes very difficult to know what to assess and the best approach
to assessment. The following perspectives regarding how children learn and what they
should be prepared for helps to fuel the debate, and each viewpoint advances a slightly
different approach to how school readiness is defined and measured.
• Maturationist model. Advocates of the maturationist model view school readiness
as a biological issue, where children’s school readiness is a function of their age and
level of cognitive, psychomotor, and emotional maturation. Some states’ decision to
not subject prekindergarten children to school readiness testing supports the
maturationist perspective (Andrews & Slate, 2001; Saluja, Scott-Little & Clifford,
2000; Snow, 2006).
• Environmentalist model. In the view of the environmentalist model, school
readiness is understood as children’s acquisition of skills that they learn from early
socialization experiences (Andrews & Slate, 2001; Graue, 1993). The

Page 12 The Debate over Assessing School Readiness in Young Children


environmentalist perspective supports the inclusion of indicators of parental
involvement in assessments of school readiness.
• Constructivist model. Supporters of the constructivist models see readiness as the
degree to which children can learn tasks through interactions with more
knowledgeable peers or adults (Andrews & Slate, 2001; Graue, 1993). This view
encourages the involvement of parents, teachers, and other adults that are familiar
with a child’s level of skill and development in assessment processes.
• Cumulative-skills model. The cumulative-skills model views school readiness as
children’s possession of certain prerequisite skills that are necessary for learning a
particular subject (Andrews & Slate, 2001). This perspective promotes educational
policies like those that require assessments of children’s pre-academic skills upon
entrance into kindergarten.
• Transactional, interactionist or ecological model. A view which supports seeing
school readiness as an interaction between children’s developmental status and their
environments. The transactional view has led to educational policies like those that
support children’s transition into school and the alignment of prekindergarten
programs with early learning programs (Andrews & Slate, 2001; Graue, 2006;
Keating, 2007; NGA, 2005; Snow, 2006). The “Ready Child Equation” put forth by
the School Readiness Indicators Initiative (KIDS COUNT, 2005) – a 17-state effort
to develop statewide indicators of school readiness – supports a transactional view
and advocates the consideration of four other major influences on children’s learning
and development in assessments of readiness for school:
ƒ Ready families. Family contexts and home environments that foster early
learning experiences and provide opportunities for growth and development.
Indicators of ready families include the mother’s educational level, the
number of births to teens, the prevalence of child abuse and neglect, and the
number of children in foster care.
ƒ Ready communities. Community resources and supports that are made
available to families with young children. Indicators of ready communities
include the number of young children in poverty, availability of supports for
families with infants and toddlers, and levels of lead poisoning.
ƒ Ready services. Quality, accessible, and affordable programs that have been
found to be effective in influencing children’s development and school. The
availability of health insurance, number of low birthweight infants, and
access to prenatal care and immunizations are indicators of ready services.
ƒ Ready early learning settings and schools. Important aspects of
prekindergarten programs and schools that affect children’s development and
school success. Class size and fourth grade reading scores are considered
indicators of ready schools.
The influence of these different perspectives has led to experts in the field of early
childhood education coming to realize that there are several influences on children’s
development that will differentially affect their level of preparedness for school. As
Graue (2006) succinctly summarizes, “[the definition of school readiness] varies
geographically, by the population it is applied to, it is a composite of different aspects of
development, and there is variation in the degree to which specific dimensions are of

School Readiness Assessment: A Review of the Literature Page 13


focus (p. 49).” As a result, defining and assessing school readiness has been made much
more difficult.

Inappropriate use of school readiness assessments


The debate surrounding measuring school readiness in children is further complicated by
the fact that early childhood practitioners tend to use assessment results for inappropriate
and sometimes controversial purposes, such as preventing children from entering
kindergarten, or moving on to first grade, and identifying children with disabilities
(ELSTF, 2005; Graue, 2006; Keating, 2007). While some experts may advocate that
using assessment results in such a way supports doing what is best for the child, others
understand that there are often unintended consequence of using readiness assessments
for such purposes, like children being permanently labeled and treated as slow or
difficult learners (Horton & Bowman, 2002; Snow, 2006). That is why experts caution
that prior to using a school readiness assessment, the intended use of the assessment
results must be clear. Doing so is critical for determining the appropriate instrument, how
information is gathered, and consequences of the assessments (Graue, 2006; Keating,
2007).
Maxwell & Clifford (2004), and other early childhood education experts (Gredler, 1992;
Meisels, 1999 & 1987; Snow, 2006; Sosna & Mastergeorge, 2005) also offer the
following precautions regarding the use of school readiness assessments:
• Each school readiness assessment tool is designed for a particular purpose.
Using an instrument for purposes other than what it was intended can lead to results
being interpreted and used incorrectly. Typically, school readiness assessments are
used to guide instruction and planning, identify children in need of further diagnostic
testing, and to conduct research and evaluation. Note that early childhood education
professionals differentiate between screening instruments, or tools like school
readiness assessments that are brief in nature and intended to provide superficial
information about a child’s skills and knowledge, and assessment tools, or more
comprehensive instruments that support follow-up, more in-depth examinations of a
child’s developmental status.
• Each assessment tool is designed with a specific definition of school readiness.
When the definition of school readiness is unclear, the more likely it is that an
unsuitable assessment instrument is used and that the results are limited in their use.
Experts advocate revisiting the goals of an educational program when deciding how
to define and measure school readiness. For example, in an early childhood
education setting that promotes the general well-being of children in multiple
developmental domains, as does a program like Head Start, the definition of school
readiness and the assessments used to measure it should focus on children’s
development along several dimensions.
• Assessments are only as good as the people conducting them. If an assessor is
unfamiliar with why the tool is being administered and the specific properties and
requirements of administering it, the greater the likelihood that 1) the assessment is
not conducted well, 2) the assessment is affected by assessor biases, and 3) the
results are less meaningful.
• It cannot be assumed that an assessment given at one point in time reflects
children’s status a short time later. Children’s growth and development occurs

Page 14 The Debate over Assessing School Readiness in Young Children


rapidly and on an ongoing basis. What children know and are capable of will
constantly change over time.
• School personnel tend to use screening tools and developmental assessment
tools interchangeably and, therefore, inappropriately, when solely basing
decisions about a child’s educational needs and potential for success on the results of
a readiness test. Screening tools are usually paper-and-pencil tools that are brief in
nature, easily administered by teachers and other caregivers, require little training,
convenient to use in a variety of settings, and relatively inexpensive. Assessment
tools, on the other hand, more often involve interviews, observations, and structured
activities (tasks performed by children that demonstrate developmentally expected
skills or behaviors), require more training and time to administer, and provide more
detailed information that can be used for diagnosing problems and making decisions
regarding how to individualize instruction.
• Screening tools alone do not accurately predict which children are likely to
have significant future problems; such tools work best for children who happen to
be at either the very high or very low range of performance on the tests. In fact,
several school readiness instruments have been found to have limited and mixed
predictive validity for measuring children’s potential for future school success.
Without being certain that assessment results accurately gauge a child’s capabilities,
the value and use of the results is limited, especially for individualizing instruction.

School Readiness Assessment: A Review of the Literature Page 15


Page 16 The Debate over Assessing School Readiness in Young Children
3
Best Practices in School
Readiness Assessment
A number of guidelines have been established by
national organizations, like the National Association
for the Education of Young Children, and the U.S.
Department of Education regarding appropriate
practices for assessing the school readiness of young
children. Researchers and practitioners have also
identified several practices that have been found to be
effective. Experts assert that, when the following best
practices are carefully taken into consideration, the
value of school readiness assessments is increased:
• Appropriate Uses of School Readiness Assessments
• Most Important Characteristics of an Assessment
System
• The Ideal School Readiness Assessment Process
• Selecting an Instrument for Assessing School
Readiness

School Readiness Assessment: A Review of the Literature Page 17


Page 18 Best Practices in School Readiness Assessment
Appropriate Uses of School Readiness
Assessment
School readiness assessment should…
• Benefit children and the adults who work with children. In addition to being
beneficial for identifying children’s strengths and challenges, assessments should be
relatively easy to administer, interpret, and use by adults conducting them. The more
that an assessment is incorporated, to the degree possible, into a child and teacher’s
daily routine, the better the chances that the assessment is administered appropriately
and the results are accurate and useful (ELSTF, 2005; Ohio Department of
Education, 2007; Sonsa & Mastergeorge, 2005; ).
• Be used for the purposes for which it is designed. School readiness assessments
that are used for their intended purposes produce more accurate results and provide
information that can be easily translated into classroom activities that enhance and
improve children’s learning. Experts advise that screening tools are most
appropriately used to provide cursory information about children’s knowledge and
skills, and to identify children in need of additional assessment, while assessment
tools are more suitable for identifying children’s specific educational needs and
capabilities (ELSTF, 2005; Ohio Department of Education, 2007; Sonsa &
Mastergeorge, 2005).
• Be valid and reliable. A school readiness assessment should effectively measure the
aspect of development that it intends to assess (valid), and produce consistent results
with each administration (reliable). It should also have properties (characteristics of
an assessment tool, such as the intended purpose, targeted age ranges, and training
and methods of administration required) that are in accordance with professional
standards regarding assessment of young children put forth by national
organizations, like NAEYC and the American Psychological Association (APA)
(ELSTF, 2005; Ohio Department of Education, 2007; Sonsa & Mastergeorge, 2005;
Vernon-Feagans & Blair, 2006). Psychometric ratings provide simple ratings of a
tool’s validity and reliability, with scores typically ranging from a low of “0” to a
high of “10-12.” Scores can be based upon an instrument having test-retest reliability
(results are consistent with every administration of the instrument), inter-rater
reliability (different raters come up with similar scores), internal consistency
(instrument’s items are related), concurrent validity (extent to which a test correlates
with an external criterion measured at the same time), predictive validity (accurately
predicts future success), and a normative (standardized) sample (Sosna &
Mastergeorge, 2005).
• Be age appropriate, using naturalistic observations to collect information as
children interact in "real-life" situations. School readiness assessments should be
appropriate for the ages of the children being assessed. Instruments that do not match
a child’s developmental status can require the child to perform tasks that are not age-
appropriate and consequently provide inaccurate and skewed results. Naturalistic
observations, or informal, authentic assessments that happen as children are naturally
engaged in problem solving, language, literacy, social, and other activities that
demonstrate their skills are considered more age appropriate for children birth to

School Readiness Assessment: A Review of the Literature Page 19


eight years of age, and viewed as being better suited for prekindergarten children’s
level of development than more formal and standardized “table-top” assessments.
However, there are several comprises made with the use of naturalistic observations,
such as the limited ability to make comparisons of same-age children, results being
affected by teacher and observer bias, and difficulty making group comparisons or
determining group effects (ELSTF, 2005; Ohio Department of Education, 2007;
Sonsa & Mastergeorge, 2005).
• Be holistic, collecting information on all developmental domains. The National
Education Goals Panel (1997) has proposed that five domains of children’s learning
and development that provide a more holistic perspective on the full range of a
child’s capabilities, and the measurement of all five is important when assessing a
child’s readiness for success in educational settings. (ELSTF, 2005; KIDS COUNT,
2005; NGEP, 1997; Ohio Department of Education, 2007; Sonsa & Mastergeorge,
2005)
ƒ Physical well-being and motor development (e.g., fine motor skills and
coordination).
ƒ Social and emotional development (e.g., exhibiting positive social behaviors
when interacting with their peers).
ƒ Approaches toward learning (e.g., levels of curiosity and independence and
ability to follow directions).
ƒ Language development (e.g., size of vocabulary and ability to recognize the
relationships between letters and sounds).
ƒ Cognition and general knowledge (e.g., ability to recognize basic shapes and
problem solve).
• Be linguistically and culturally appropriate. At a minimum, a school readiness
assessment should be available and administered in a child’s primary language.
Assessments that do not take into account a child’s cultural background are less
likely to demonstrate and capture his or her full range of capabilities (ELSTF, 2005;
Ohio Department of Education, 2007; Sonsa & Mastergeorge, 2005; ).
• Collect information through a variety of processes and multiple sources. School
readiness assessments should collect information in several different ways and tap
into multiple sources of information regarding a child’s developmental status,
including collections of children's work, observations of children, interviews with
children, and parent reports. The greater the variety of methods and sources, the
greater the likelihood that the assessment results provide an accurate and holistic
view of what children know and can do (ELSTF, 2005; Ohio Department of
Education, 2007; Sonsa & Mastergeorge, 2005).
• Be used to guide instruction and not to determine children's placement in
school. Early childhood education professionals caution that screening tools are
really designed to provide limited information about children’s learning and
development and should not be used interchangeably with more comprehensive
assessment tools. Experts caution that screenings should always be followed up by
more comprehensive assessments that can fully inform decisions about a child’s
developmental status and potential for future success. Readiness assessments should
NOT be conducted to classify a child’s preparedness for inclusion in an educational

Page 20 Commonly Used Instruments for Assessing School Readiness in Young Children
setting, or be used to exclude children from preschool or kindergarten. (ELSTF,
2005; Ohio Department of Education, 2007; Sonsa & Mastergeorge, 2005).

Most Important Characteristics of an


Assessment System
A survey of 25 national leaders in the field of early childhood education conducted by
the Erikson Institute indicates that the following are the most important characteristics of
an assessment system (Horton & Bowman, 2002):
• Matched curriculum/assessment. An assessment system should create a strong and
useful connection between an early childhood education program’s curriculum and
the instrument used to assess readiness.
• Teacher meetings. Weekly teacher meetings are advocated, in which parents and
teachers can work together to promote and monitor children’s progress.
• Monitoring self-study. Annual or semi-annual self-studies in which assessments of
the appropriateness and effectiveness of activities conducted in early childhood
settings are undertaken for program evaluation purposes.
• Portfolios. It is recommended that portfolios be used to collect evidence of
children’s skills and capabilities from a variety of sources on a daily or weekly basis.
• Developmental Screenings. Screenings for disabilities and developmental delays
are to be conducted annually, and complemented by teacher observations.
• Parent evaluations. Parents should be involved in any assessment of children’s
school readiness, as they help to provide information about children’s functioning in
their home and community environments. It is recommended that information be
collected from parents at least biannually.
• Teacher anecdotal records. Anecdotal records of children’s skills and progress
made by teachers are only valuable if the teacher has received adequate training on
how to take anecdotal notes and the use of the notes are incorporated into a larger
assessment system.
• Teacher checklists. Teacher checklists are useful resources for helping teachers to
focus in on specific areas of development, but they should not be used for formal
assessment purposes.
• Computerized worksheets. Worksheets should NOT be a part of a school readiness
assessment system.

The Ideal School Readiness


Assessment Process
The Early Learning Standards Task Force (ELSTF, 2005) and other experts in the field
of early childhood education (NGEP, 1997; Ohio Department of Education, ; Sonsa &
Mastergeorge, 2005) identify the following process as being ideal for conducting school
readiness assessments:

School Readiness Assessment: A Review of the Literature Page 21


1. Use only authentic curriculum-based scales to the greatest extent possible as the
first stage in evaluating the early learning skills of children while they are
participating in the educational settings.
2. Compile ongoing observation data for every child at least 2 times (preferably 3
times) per year, for example, September and May or September, January, and May to
document the child’s progress over time. The frequency of monitoring is dependent
on the progress the child is making.
3. Gather information from teachers, aides, parents, and other caregivers who
know the child well and observe daily children’s naturally occurring thinking,
language, social, motor, and self-control skills.
4. Watch, observe, and record each child’s strong and weak skills through
daily/weekly observations.
5. Use a specific measure of early learning skills to probe further into areas that may
require more in depth evaluation such as early literacy, reading, math, and general
knowledge.
6. For children with developmental disabilities, use only measures that have been
designed and field-validated for use with children having specific needs as the
primary measurement tool.
7. Collect information on all children individually and as classroom groups to note
changes overtime.
8. Incorporate information collected into teaching strategies, classroom activities
and curricula materials at each time-point. Constructing the environment to
encourage particular activities is an appropriate method of collecting data.
9. Use the information collected over time as records of the performance and progress
of children to share with parents and for transition building with principals, the
teacher’s of the following school year (i.e., kindergarten teachers or first grade
teachers), and others.

Selecting an Instrument for Assessing


School Readiness
With children coming from different geographies, populations, and levels of
development, it is extremely difficult to find and use an assessment tool that can 1)
adequately measure all domains of children’s learning and development, 2) be
administered easily using practices and instruments that match the cultural context of the
settings in which children develop, and 3) provide accurate assessment results. Maxwell
& Clifford (2004) provide some general guidelines regarding factors to consider when
identifying school readiness instruments. They assert that, ideally, selecting an
instrument is accomplished through the collaborative efforts of a team that includes
administrators, teachers, families, and experts in the assessment of young children’s
skills. The following key questions can help guide planning.
• Is there interest in all five domains of
What is your definition of school readiness?
development—physical well-being and motor development, social and emotional

Page 22 Commonly Used Instruments for Assessing School Readiness in Young Children
development, approaches toward learning, language development, and cognitive
development and general knowledge? If so, is information already collected on some
domains (for example, health), or do the assessment tools need to cover all five
domains? If the purpose of the assessment is to improve learning, does the content of
the assessment match the curriculum content?
• What is your purpose or purposes for conducting school readiness assessments?
Select an assessment tool or tools to match each of the purposes.
• What are the characteristics of the children to be assessed? How old are they?
Do they speak languages besides English? What are their races or ethnicities? Do
some have disabilities? In what part of the country do they live? The assessment
tools selected should be designed to be used with children similar to the ones being
assessed. The assessment tool should also include documented evidence of the
characteristics of children on which the assessment was tested.
• What are the technical properties of the assessment? Is there evidence for
adequate validity (the tool really measures what it claims to measure)? Is there
evidence for adequate reliability (the tool produces similar results for a child, even
when the assessment is conducted by different individuals).

School Readiness Assessment: A Review of the Literature Page 23


Page 24 Commonly Used Instruments for Assessing School Readiness in Young Children
4
Commonly Used Instruments for
Assessing School Readiness in
Young Children
There are several screening and assessment
instruments commonly used for assessing school
readiness in prekindergarten children. As the previous
section illuminated, the instrument of choice differs
according to a variety of factors, such as the age and
primary language of the children being tested and the
domains being measured. This section summarizes
information about school readiness assessment
instruments found to be commonly used in early
childhood settings across the U.S., which can help to
identify an instrument more suitable for assessing
school readiness in Franklin County, including:
• States’ Use of School Readiness Assessments
• Commonly Used Instruments and Their Alignment
with Best Practices
• Properties of Commonly Used Instruments

School Readiness Assessment: A Review of the Literature Page 25


Page 26 Commonly Used Instruments for Assessing School Readiness in Young Children
States’ Use of School Readiness
Assessments
States have differing policies regarding school readiness assessment. Many states require
statewide assessment; some largely conduct local assessments, while others do not
require school readiness assessment at all. Table 1 summarizes policies regarding school
readiness assessment found during the national survey of state readiness initiatives
conducted in 1999 by the National Center for Early Development and Learning
(NCEDL) and SERVE (Saluja, Scott-Little, & Clifford, 2000), and the survey conducted
in 2001 by the Erikson Institute of 25 national experts in the field of early childhood
education (Horton & Bowman, 2002).

…………
Table 1. States’ Policies Regarding School Readiness Assessment*
POLICIES NUMBER OF STATES STATES
Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida,
Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, New
States conduct screening or assessment 13
Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio
Tennessee, Utah
Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Maine,
State places assessment entirely under Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma,
11
local control Pennsylvania, Texas, West Virginia and
Wisconsin
Local schools conduct screening or Florida, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon,
5
assessment Texas
Arizona, California, Colorado,
Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana,
Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts,
Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Mississippi,
Some local school districts conduct
26 Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey,
assessments
North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island,
South Carolina, Couth Dakota,
Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin,
Wyoming
Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Kansas,
Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Montana,
State is developing plans to implement
16 New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, South
statewide readiness assessment
Carolina, Texas, Vermont, Washington,
Wyoming
Alabama, Alaska, Florida, Georgia,
Data are collected at the state level 8
Louisiana, Minnesota, Ohio, Vermont
Delaware, Hawaii*, Kansas, Oklahoma,
State does not asses school readiness 6
Nebraska, Virginia
Sources: Saluja, Scott-Little, & Clifford (2000). Readiness for school: A survey of state policies and definitions. Early
Childhood Research and Practice. Online: http://ecrp.uiuc.edu/v2n2/saluja.html. Horton, C. & Bowman, B. T. (2002). Child
assessment at the preprimary level: Expert opinion and state trends.
*Information may have changed since the findings of these surveys were reported.

Information is scarce that identifies specific school readiness assessments used in


prekindergarten and kindergarten settings at the city and county level, including in
central Ohio. Information about states use of school readiness assessments is more
readily available through research like the surveys conducted by NCEDL and SERVE,
and the Erikson Institute, and a more recent review of evaluations of state school
readiness initiatives conducted by the U.S. Department of Education (2007). Neither the

School Readiness Assessment: A Review of the Literature Page 27


surveys nor the review listed complete information about all school readiness
assessments used in every state. Thus, Table 2 presents available information on several
states’ school readiness assessments, including information from the state’s Department
of Education website.

…………
Table 2. States’ Use of School Readiness Assessments
STATE INSTRUMENTS & PRACTICES
• Alabama Learning Inventory
Alabama • Data compiled at the local and state level
• Administered by teachers to every public school kindergarten student within the
first 4 weeks of school
• Measures pre-reading and quantitative concepts
• Information used for instructional purposes
• Alaska Developmental Profile
Alaska • Global measure used to provide summary information on each school to the state
Department of Education
• Districts decide how to gather the information
• Information will be used to determine patterns and identify areas with high need
Arkansas • Health and developmental screening is conducted on all children entering
kindergarten
• Mandatory use of portfolios
Arizona • Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test – Third Edition (PPVT-III)
California • Child Observation Form
• Kindergarten Observation Tool
• Transition to Kindergarten Form
Connecticut • Bracken Basic Concepts Scale –Revised
• Social Skills Rating System (SSRS)
Delaware • Mandatory developmental screenings
Florida • Florida Kindergarten Readiness Screener (FLKRS)
• Early Screening Inventory – Kindergarten (ESI-K)
• Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS)
• All children entering kindergarten are assessed by their teachers within the first 3
weeks of school
• Local districts can decide upon instruments, as long as they measure the 16
indicators outlined by the state Department of Education
• Information is used to guide instruction
Georgia • Color Bears and Counting Bears
• Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (CTOPP)
• Oral and Written Language Scales (OWLS)
• Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test – Third Edition (PPVT-III)
• Social Skills Rating System (SSRS)
• Story and Print Concepts
• Woodcock-Johnson III (W-J III)
Hawaii • Hawaii State School Readiness Assessment
• Developed by the state Department of Education
• System-level data is gathered on children’s readiness for schools and schools’
readiness for children
Illinois • Mandatory developmental screenings
Iowa • High/Scope Preschool Child Observation Record (COR)
Kansas • Work Sampling System (WSS)
Kentucky • Battelle Developmental Inventory
• Social Skills Rating System (SSRS)
Louisiana • Creative Curriculum Developmental Continuum for Ages 3 – 5 Assessment
• Developing Skills Checklist (DSC)
• Every kindergarten child is screened within 30 days of the first day of school (before
or after)
• One of four state-identified instruments may be used
• Information is used to guide instruction but is also collected at the state level

Page 28 Commonly Used Instruments for Assessing School Readiness in Young Children
STATE INSTRUMENTS & PRACTICES
Maryland • Maryland Model for School Readiness (MMSR)
• Work Sampling System (WSS)
• Includes assessment, instruction, family communication, and articulation among
programs
• Data used as a school improvement device and for instructional purposes
Michigan • High/Scope Preschool Child Observation Record (COR)
• Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test – Third Edition (PPVT-III)
• Preschool Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (Pre-CTOPP)
• Woodcock-Johnson III (W-J III)
Minnesota • Work Sampling System (WSS)
• Early childhood health and developmental screening
Missouri • Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test – Third Edition (PPVT-III)
• Social Skills Rating System (SSRS)
• Story and Print Concepts
• Woodcock-Johnson III (W-J III)
Nebraska • High/Scope Preschool Child Observation Record (COR)
• Creative Curriculum Developmental Continuum for Ages 3 – 5 Assessment
• Work Sampling System (WSS)
Nevada • Preschool Language Scale – Fourth Edition (PLS-4)
New Jersey • Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test – Third Edition (PPVT-III)
• Preschool Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (Pre-CTOPP)
• Woodcock-Johnson III (W-J III)
New Mexico • All children undergo an initial screening upon entry to school
New York • High/Scope Preschool Child Observation Record (COR)
• Teacher-Child Rating Scale (T-CRS)
• All children are screened for health; English proficiency; and motor, cognitive, and
language development
North Carolina • Bracken Basic Concepts Scale
• Color Bears and Counting Bears
• High/Scope Preschool Child Observation Record (COR)
• Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test – Third Edition (PPVT-III)
• Pre-Language Assessment Scales (Pre-LAS 2000)
• Social Skills Rating System (SSRS)
• Story and Print Concepts
• Woodcock-Johnson III (W-J III)
Ohio • Kindergarten Readiness Assessment – Literacy (KRA-L)
• Get It, Got It, Go
• California Preschool Social Competency Scale
• All children undergo an initial screening upon entry to school
Oklahoma • Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test – Third Edition (PPVT-III)
• Preschool Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (Pre-CTOPP)
• Woodcock-Johnson III (W-J III)
South Carolina • Developmental Indicators for the Assessment of Learning – Third Edition (DIAL-R)
• Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test – Third Edition (PPVT-III)
• Preschool Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (Pre-CTOPP)
Pennsylvania • Basic School Skills Inventory
• Developmental Observation Checklist System
• Preschool and Kindergarten Behavior Scales (PKBS)
Tennessee • Brigance Diagnostic Inventory of Early Development –Revised
• General screening is done of all students entering kindergarten
• Information is used to guide instruction
Texas • Developmental Indicators for the Assessment of Learning – Third Edition (DIAL-R)
• Expressive One-Word Picture Vocabulary Test (EOWPVT)
• Get It! Got It! Go!
• Receptive One-Word Vocabulary Test (ROWPVT)
Utah • All kindergarten children are assessed during the first 2 weeks of school
• Information is used to guide instruction
Washington • Mandatory parent evaluations

School Readiness Assessment: A Review of the Literature Page 29


STATE INSTRUMENTS & PRACTICES

West Virginia • Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test – Third Edition (PPVT-III)


• Preschool Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (Pre-CTOPP)
• Woodcock-Johnson III (W-J III)
Sources: Saluja, Scott-Little, & Clifford (2000). Readiness for school: A survey of state policies and definitions. Early
Childhood Research and Practice. Online: http://ecrp.uiuc.edu/v2n2/saluja.html; Florida Department of Education (2006).
Online: http://www.fldoe.org/earlylearning/sruss.asp; Maxwell & Bryant (2000).; U.S. Department of Education (2007). A
review of methods and instruments used in state and local school readiness evaluations.

Commonly Used Instruments and


Their Alignment with Best Practices
The review of evaluations of state school readiness initiatives conducted by the U.S.
Department of Education (2007) indicates that several states use a battery, or series of
instruments, and do not limt assessments of children’s skills and abilities to one source of
information. The survey conducted by the Erikson Institute also indicates that most states
have moved toward establishing relatively structured assessment systems that employ
informal methods (Horton & Bowman, 2002). Figure 1 illustrates screening and
assessment instruments most frequently used by states for assessing school readiness.

Figure 1. Most Frequently Used Screening and Assessment Instruments

30
27

25
Number of Evaluation Studies

20

15 13

10 9 9
7
6
5 5 5
5

0
Woodcock-Johnson III
Story and Print Concepts

Counting Bears/Color Bears


Work Sampling System
Child Observation Record

Preschool Comprehensive Test of


Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test

Developing Skills Checklist


Social Skills Rating Scale

Phonological Processing

Source: U.S. Department of Education (2007). A review of methods and instruments used in state and local school
readiness evaluations.

Page 30 Commonly Used Instruments for Assessing School Readiness in Young Children
Table 3 summarizes how well many of the commonly used screening and assessment
instruments align with best practices regarding the assessment of school readiness listed
above. Note that this list does not represent the exhaustive number of school readiness
screening and assessment instruments available; only those that have been commonly
referred to in literature regarding assessing school readiness among prekindergarten
children. For more complete listings and descriptions of screening and assessment
instruments used to assess children’s learning and development, consult the following
publications:
• Child Trends (2004). Early childhood measure profiles. Online:
http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/ECMeasures04/report.pdf.
• Early Learning Standards Task Force (2005). Early childhood assessment for
children from birth to age 8 (Grade 3). Online:
http://www.pde.state.pa.us/early_childhood/lib/early_childhood/Early_Childhood_A
ssessment_For_Children_From_Birth_to_Age_%85.pdf.
• National Child Care Information Center (2007). Child outcome assessment tools for
early childhood education. Online: http://nccic.org/poptopics/childoutcome.pdf.
• Niemeyer, J. & Scott-Little, C. (2002). Assessing kindergarten children: A
compendium of assessment instruments. Online:
http://www.serve.org/_downloads/REL/Assessment/rdakcc.pdf.
• Ohio Department of Education (2007). Catalog of screening and assessment
instruments for young children. Office of Early Learning and School Readiness.
• Sosna & Mastergeorge (2005). Compendium of screening tools for early childhood
socio-emotional development. Online:
http://www.first5caspecialneeds.org/documents/IPFMHI_CompendiumofScreeningT
ools.pdf. 

…………
Table 3. How Commonly Used Screening and Assessment Instruments Align with Best
Practices
CONDUCTED ON AN
USES NATURALISTIC

INDIVIDUALLY AND
AGE APPROPRIATE

DATA COLLECTED

DATA COLLECTED

DATA COLLECTED
FROM MULTIPLE

MATCHED WITH

ONGOING BASIS
OBSERVATIONS

APPROPRIATE

INSTRUCTION
CULTURALLY

CURRIULUM/

AS A GROUP
CAREGIVERS

VALID AND
MEASURES
THROUGH

METHODS

DOMAINS
MULTIPLE

MULTIPLE

RELIABLE
GUIDES

INSTRUMENT

1. Basic School
Skills Inventory, X X X X
Third Edition
2. Battelle
Developmental
X X X X X X
Inventory –
Second Edition
3. Bracken Basic
Concepts
X X X
Scale-Revised
(BBCS-R)

School Readiness Assessment: A Review of the Literature Page 31


AGE APPROPRIATE

DATA COLLECTED

DATA COLLECTED

DATA COLLECTED

AND AS A GROUP
CONDUCTED ON
FROM MULTIPLE

MATCHED WITH
OBSERVATIONS

INDIVIDUALLY
NATURALISTIC

CURRICULUM/
APPROPRIATE

AN ONGOING
INSTRUCTION
CULTURALLY

CAREGIVERS

VALID AND
MEASURES
THROUGH

METHODS

DOMAINS
MULTIPLE

MULTIPLE

RELIABLE
GUIDES

BASIS
USES
INSTRUMENT

4. Brigance
Diagnostic
Inventory of
X X X X X X X
Early
Development –
Revised
5. California
Preschool
Social X X
Competency
Scale
6. Color Bears
and Counting X X
Bears
7. Comprehensive
Test of
Phonological X X
Processing
(CTOPP)
8. Creative
Curriculum
Developmental
X X X
Continuum for
Ages 3-5
Assessment
9. Developing
X X X X X X X
Skills Checklist
10.Developmental
Indicators for
the Assessment
X X X X X
of Learning –
Third Edition
(DIAL-III)
11.Developmental
Observation
X X X X X
Checklist
System
12.Devereux Early
Childhood
X X X X
Assessment
(DECA)
13.Dynamic
Indicators of
Basic Early X
Literacy Skills
(DIBELS)
14.Early Screening
Inventory –
X X X X X
Kindergarten
(ESI-K)

Page 32 Commonly Used Instruments for Assessing School Readiness in Young Children
INDIVIDUALLY AND
AGE APPROPRIATE

DATA COLLECTED

DATA COLLECTED

DATA COLLECTED
CONDUCTED ON
FROM MULTIPLE

MATCHED WITH
OBSERVATIONS
NATURALISTIC

APPROPRIATE

AN ONGOING
INSTRUCTION
CULTURALLY

CURRIULUM/

AS A GROUP
CAREGIVERS

VALID AND
MEASURES
THROUGH

METHODS

DOMAINS
MULTIPLE

MULTIPLE

RELIABLE
GUIDES

BASIS
USES
INSTRUMENT

15.Expressive One-
Word Picture
X X X
Vocabulary
Test (EOWPVT)
16.Galileo System
for the
Electronic
X X X X x
Management
of Learning
(Galileo)
17.Gesell School
Readiness Test X
(GSRT)
18.Get It! Got It!
X
Go!
19.Get Ready to
X X
Read!
20.High/Scope
Preschool Child
X X X X X X X
Observation
Record (COR)
21. Learning
Accomplishment
X X X X
s Profile –
Revised (LAP-R)
22.Lollipop Test X
23.Metropolitan
Readiness Test X X
(MRT)
24.Oral and
Written
X X
Language Scale
(OWLS)
25.Peabody
Picture
X X X
Vocabulary
Test (PPVT)
26.Pre-Language
Assessment
X X
Scales (Pre-LAS
2000)
27.Phelps
Kindergarten X X
Readiness Scale
28.Preschool and
Kindergarten
X X
Behavior Scales
(PKBS)

School Readiness Assessment: A Review of the Literature Page 33


INDIVIDUALLY AND
AGE APPROPRIATE

DATA COLLECTED

DATA COLLECTED

DATA COLLECTED
CONDUCTED ON
FROM MULTIPLE

MATCHED WITH
OBSERVATIONS
NATURALISTIC

CURRCIULUM/
APPROPRIATE

AN ONGOING
INSTRUCTION
CULTURALLY

AS A GROUP
CAREGIVERS

VALID AND
MEASURES
THROUGH

METHODS

DOMAINS
MULTIPLE

MULTIPLE

RELIABLE
GUIDES

BASIS
USES
INSTRUMENT

29.Preschool
Comprehensive
Test of
X
Phonological
Processing (Pre-
CTOPP)
30.Preschool
Individual
Growth and
X
Development
Indicators
(IGDIs)
31.Preschool
Language Scale
X X
– Fourth
Edition (PLS-4)
32.Receptive One-
Word Picture
X X
Vocabulary
Test (ROWPVT)
33.Social
Competence
and Behavior X X
Evaluation
(SCBE)
34.Social Skills
Rating System X X X X
(SRSS)
35.Story and Print
X X X
Concepts
36.Teacher-Child
Rating Scale (T- X X
CRS)
37.Teacher Rating
of Oral
Language and X X X
Literacy
(TROLL)
38.Woodcock
Johnson III (W-J X X X
III)
39.Work Sampling
X X X X X X X X
System
Sources: Shilady, A. L (2004). Choosing an appropriate assessment system. National Association for the Education of
Young Children; Horton & Bowman (2002). Child assessment at the preprimary level: Expert opinion and state trends;
U.S. Department of Education (2007). A review of methods and instruments used in state and local school readiness
evaluations.; Magdalena, J. (2007). Development and psychometric properties of the Early Development Instrument
(EDI): A measure of children's school readiness. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science. Online:
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/ mi_qa3717/is_200701/ai_n19198202/print.

Page 34 Commonly Used Instruments for Assessing School Readiness in Young Children
Properties of Commonly Used School
Readiness Assessment Instruments
Table 4 describes specific properties of the screening and assessment tools found to be
commonly used in early childhood settings across the U.S listed above. Specific
properties about the instruments that are described include:
• Type. Whether the instrument is a formal, standardized type of assessment (which
are considered to be highly valid and reliable (.8 or above), are administered in a
similar way each time (standardized), and have standards of comparison (norm-
referenced, standards reference, and criterion-referenced) that guide the
interpretation of results, or an informal, or naturalistic, authentic type of assessment
(which typically do not adhere to standard conditions or use standard materials, have
limited reliability (.5 to .6) and validity, and are considered to be criterion-
referenced, where comparison is based upon a child’s own level of skill and
knowledge versus a norm group).
• Purpose/Use. The intended purpose or use of the instrument, such as screening for
initial readiness skills, or providing in-depth information about a child’s strengths
and challenges. Also describes the intended use of the instrument.
• Focus. The domains of development and associated developmental skills that the
instrument intends to assess, such as language, literacy, pre-academic, social, and
cognitive skills.
• Age Range. The age range that the assessment tool is intended for.
• Administration. How the assessment is administered, including whether it is
administered individually or as a group, the ease and duration of administration, and
the methods used to collect data, such as observations, interviews, checklists, and
structured activities/direct child assessment.
• Specific Features. Unique aspects of the assessment tool that are not mentioned in
other areas, such as whether it can be used with children with disabilities, languages
that the instrument is available in, and the specific training and credentials required
for administration and interpretation of assessments.
• Accessibility. How the instrument can be accessed and its cost.
Information about the properties of the instruments listed has been taken from several
different sources. As a result, consistent information about each instrument’s properties
is not provided. Those properties about which information could not be found have not
been included.

School Readiness Assessment: A Review of the Literature Page 35


…………
Table 4. Properties of Commonly Used Screening and Assessment Instruments
AGE
INSTRUMENT TYPE PURPOSE/USE FOCUS ADMINISTRATION SPECIFIC FEATURES ACCESSIBILITY
RANGE

1. Basic School Skills • Norm- • Instructional • Basic knowledge 4 to 6.11 Time: 4-8 minutes Languages: English From: Pro-Ed, Inc.
Inventory, Third referenced planning • Language yrs Methods: Direct child Training: Formal training in Publishing
Edition assessment with structured assessment, familiarity with www.proedinc.com
• Literacy
tasks, observations, preschool classroom skills and
• Math checklists behavioral/socio-emotional
• Behavior testing
Other: Bracken School
Readiness Assessment (BSRA),
an adapted version of the
BBCS-R, is available for
identifying school readiness
2. Battelle • Curriculum- • Screening • Cognitive Infant Time: Screening 10-30 Languages: English, Spanish From: Riverside
Developmental referenced • Tracking child • Socio-emotional through minutes; complete Training: Appropriate training Publishing
Inventory – • Norm- outcomes 7.11 assessment 1-2 hrs and experience in administering www.riverpub.com
• Language
Second Edition referenced Methods: Direct child the instrument, as well as
• Evaluation • Health/physical assessment, teacher knowledge and familiarity with
observation; parent children within the age range
interviews being assessed.
Other: Provides adaptations for
children with disabilities; the
screening tool is an adaptation
of the full measure.
3. Bracken Basic • Norm- • Assess • Cognitive 2.6 to 8 Time: Untimed; ~ 30 Languages: English, Spanish From: Harcourt, Brace
Concepts Scale- referenced developmental • Language yrs minutes Training: Training in and Co.
Revised (BBCS-R) performance Methods: Direct child psychological testing www.harcourt.com
• Math
• Assess school assessment interpretation; graduate
readiness • Socio-emotional training in measurement,
• School readiness guidance, individual
psychological assessment, or
special appraisal methods
appropriate to a particular test.

Page 36 Commonly Used Instruments for Assessing School Readiness in Young Children
AGE
INSTRUMENT TYPE PURPOSE/USE FOCUS ADMINISTRATION SPECIFIC FEATURES ACCESSIBILITY
RANGE
4. Brigance • Criterion- • Assess • Preambulatory 0 to 6 yrs Time: less than an hour Languages: English, Spanish From: Curriculum
Diagnostic referenced developmental • Gross and fine Methods: Structured tasks, Other: Brigance Preschool Associates
Inventory of Early performance motor naturalistic teacher and Screen-II screening tool www.curriculumassociat
Development –II • Identify strengths • Self-help parent observations, and available, which targets 3-4 yr es.com
and weaknesses interviews olds Cost: $124
• Speech/language
• Instructional
planning • Socio-emotional
• General
knowledge
• Basic reading,
writing, and math
5. California • Asses social • Socio-emotional Preschool Time: 5-10 minutes Languages: English From: Formerly
Preschool Social adjustment in the • School adjustment age Easy: Training: No training published by Consulting
Competency classroom children recommendations Psychologists Press
Methods: Teacher
Scale observation

6. Color Bears and • Asses knowledge • Early literacy 3 to 5 yrs Time: 5 minutes Languages: English From: Unpublished;
Counting Bears of colors and • Numeracy Easy: Training: Paraprofessionals can used in FACES research
counting ability be trained in about 15 minutes www.acf.hhs.gov/progr
Methods: Direct child
• Conducting Family assessment Other: Modified from the ams/opre/hs/faces/instru
and Child Color Concepts and Number ments/child_instru02/lan
Experiences Concepts tasks guage_color.pdf
Survey Cost: $
(FACES)research
7. Comprehensive • Norm- • Screening • Language 5 through Time: 30 minutes Languages: English From: Pro-Ed, Inc
Test of referenced • Tracking child 24.11 yrs Easy: Training: Extensive training in www.proedinc.com
Phonological outcomes Methods: Direct child assessment with an emphasis
Processing • Conducting assessment on phonological ability testing,
(CTOPP) test statistics scoring, and
research
interpretation is recommended.

School Readiness Assessment: A Review of the Literature Page 37


AGE
INSTRUMENT TYPE PURPOSE/USE FOCUS ADMINISTRATION SPECIFIC FEATURES ACCESSIBILITY
RANGE
8. Creative • Criterion- • Assessment • Socio-emotional 3 to 5 yrs Time: Ongoing Languages: English, Spanish From: Teaching
Curriculum referenced • Screening for • Physical Easy: Training: Publisher offers a Strategies, Inc.
Developmental delays self-paced training module www.teachingstratergie
• Cognitive Methods: Teacher
Continuum for series that offers guidance on s.com
• Informing • Language
observation of up to 25
Ages 3-5 instruction children how to conduct authentic
assessments and how to use
Assessment • Tracking child the creative curriculum
outcomes assessment tool. Publisher also
• Conducting offers other training
research opportunities. Web and
software training are also
available.
9. Developing Skills • Planning • Language 4 to 6 yrs Time: Untimed; 10-15 Languages: English, Spanish From: CTB-McGraw Hill
Checklist (DSC) instruction • Visual minutes for each of three Training: No specific training www.ctb.com
testing sessions requirements.
• Auditory
Easy:
• Math
Methods: Direct child
• Memory assessment , teacher
• Print and writing observations, checklists,
• Socio-emotional parent interview

• Fine and gross


motor movement
10.Developmental • Norm- • Screening • Fine and gross 3 yrs Time: ~ 20-30 minutes Languages: English, Spanish From: American
Indicators for the referenced • Identify children in motor though Easy: Yes Training: Formal, 4-hr DIAL-R Guidance Systems
Assessment of need of further • Socio-emotional second training required www.agsnet.com
Methods: Individually
assessment grade
Learning – Third • Language administered, teacher Other: Also available as the Cost: $309.95
Edition (DIAL-III) • Identify at-risk • Cognition
observation, checklist, Speed Dial, a brief screening
children structured tasks, parent tool
• Self-help questionnaire
• Identify potentially
advanced children Cycle: One-time
administration
• Instructional
planning

Page 38 Commonly Used Instruments for Assessing School Readiness in Young Children
AGE
INSTRUMENT TYPE PURPOSE/USE FOCUS ADMINISTRATION SPECIFIC FEATURES ACCESSIBILITY
RANGE
11.Developmental • Screening • Language 0 to 7 yrs Time: 30 minutes; 25-20 Languages: English From: Pro-Ed, Inc
Observation • Tracking child • Cognitive minutes to score all three Training: Some training in www.proedinc.com
Checklist System outcomes checklists administering and interpreting
• Socio-emotional
Easy: assessment instruments
• Motor movement
Methods: Checklists,
parent report

12.Devereux Early • Standardized • Screening • Socio-emotional 2-5 yrs Time: ~10 minutes Languages: English, Spanish From: Kaplan Press
Childhood • Norm- • Assess behavioral Easy: Yes – to learn and Training: Training in kaplan@kaplanco.com
Assessment referenced concerns administer interpretation Cost: $189.95
Program (DECA) • Treatment Methods: Individual
planning administration, teacher
observation

13.Dynamic • Monitor the • Literacy Time: Screener 10-15 Languages: English From: DIBELS website
Indicators of Basic development of minutes http://dibels.uoregon.e
Early Literacy pre-reading and Methods: Individually du/
Skills (DIBELS) early reading skills administered

14.Early Screening • Norm- • Measures ability • Language 3 through Time: 15-20 minutes Languages: English, Spanish From: Rebus Planning
Inventory – referenced to acquire new • Cognition 6 yrs Easy: Yes – to learn and Training: Formal background Associates
Kindergarten (ESI- skills administer in early childhood education 1-800-435-3085 or
• Speech perception
K) • Screening Methods: Checklist, Other: for children with Pearson Early Learning
Center
• Identify children in individually administered, disabilities
need of additional quiet, distraction-free area Cost: $96.00
assessment
• Identify possibility
of a learning
problem
15.Expressive One- • Norm- • Screening • Language 2 through Time: 10-15 minutes Languages: English, Spanish From: Academic
Word Picture referenced • Monitoring 18.11 yrs Methods: Direct child Training: With training and Therapy Publications
Vocabulary Test growth assessment supervision, it can be www.academictherapy.
(EOWPVT administered by someone com
• Evaluating
without a relevant background.
program
effectiveness

School Readiness Assessment: A Review of the Literature Page 39


AGE
INSTRUMENT TYPE PURPOSE/USE FOCUS ADMINISTRATION SPECIFIC FEATURES ACCESSIBILITY
RANGE
16.Galileo System for • Promote learning • Approaches to Birth to 10 Time: Ongoing Languages: English From: Assessment
the Electronic Learning Methods: Teacher Technology, Inc.
Management of • Creative Arts observation www.ati-online.com
Learning (Galileo) • Early Math
• Fine and Gross
Motor
• Language
• Literature
• Nature and
science
• Physical Health
• Socio-Emotional
17.Gesell School • Screening for • Writing Infants, Methods: Teacher Languages: English
Readiness Test readiness for • Visual and motor toddlers, observation
(GSRT) kindergarten coordination preschoole
rs
• Verbal expressions
18.Get It! Got It! • Monitoring • Literacy 2.5 to 5.5 Time: 5 minutes per test Languages: English, Spanish From: University of
Go! change yrs Methods: Direct child only available for picture Minnesota, College of
assessment naming subsets Education and Human
Training: Basic familiarity with, Development
and skill in administering http://ggg.umn.edu
standardized tests to young
children
19.Get Ready to • Screening • Literacy 4 yrs olds Time: 9.5 minutes Languages: English, Spanish From: Pearson Early
Read! Methods: Direct child Training: Standardized training Learning
assessment is available www.pearsonassessmen
ts.com

Page 40 Commonly Used Instruments for Assessing School Readiness in Young Children
AGE
INSTRUMENT TYPE PURPOSE/USE FOCUS ADMINISTRATION SPECIFIC FEATURES ACCESSIBILITY
RANGE
20.High/Scope • Criterion- • Identify skills and • Language 2.5 to 6 yrs Time: Ongoing Languages: English From: High/Scope
Preschool Child referenced strengths • Math Easy: Yes Training: Recommended 2-3 Educational Research
Observation • Norm- • Instructional day COR training; week-ling Foundation
• Initiative Methods: Naturalistic
Record (COR) referenced planning teacher observation, courses and multiple-week www.highscope.com
• Social relations courses are available by request
• Program checklist, parent reports Cost: $90
evaluation • Music and
Cycle:3 observations of
movement
each child
21.Learning • Criterion- • Informing • Cognitive 3 to 6 yrs Time: Varies Languages: English, Spanish From: Kaplan Press
Accomplishments referenced instruction • Language Easy: Yes – to learn and Training: A video on the LAP-R www.kaplanco.com
Profile – Revised • Tracking children’s • Self-help
administer is available for purchase
(LAP-R) progress Methods: Direct child through Kaplan. Training is also
• Motor movement available from the Chapel Hill
assessment
• Social Training Outreach Project and
Kaplan.
22.Lollipop Test • Identify readiness • Recognition and Time: 15-20 minutes Languages: English From: Humanistic
for school identification of Easy: Relatively easy Training: Administered by Learning
shapes, colors, trained examiners http://www.humanicsle
pictures, letters, arning.com/bookhtms/lo
and numbers llipop.htm
Cost: $34.95

23.Metropolitan • Screening • Literacy 3 to 6 yrs Time: 80 minutes Languages: English From: The Psychological
Readiness Test • Identify readiness • Cognition Methods: Group or Corporation
(MRT) for school individual administration www.psychcorp.com

24.Oral and Written • Norm- • Screening • Cognitive 3 to 21 yrs Time: 15-40 minutes Languages: English From: Western
Language Scale referenced • Informing • Language Methods: Direct child Training: In psychological Psychological Services
(OWLS) instruction assessment testing http://portal.wpspublish.
• Literacy
com/portal/page?_pagei
• Conducting
d=53,69501&_dad=por
research
tal&_schema=PORTAL
Cost:: $395.00

School Readiness Assessment: A Review of the Literature Page 41


AGE
INSTRUMENT TYPE PURPOSE/USE FOCUS ADMINISTRATION SPECIFIC FEATURES ACCESSIBILITY
RANGE
25.Peabody Picture • Norm- • Assessment • Receptive 2 yrs to Time: ~ 11-12 minutes Languages: Spanish From: Pearson
Vocabulary Test – referenced • Identify children vocabulary adult Easy: Need background in Training: Familiarity with Assessment
Third Edition with language • Cognition psychometrics to interpret; pyschometrics www.pearsonassessmen
(PPVT-III) differences easy to administer Other: Can be used with ts.com
• Monitor receptive Methods: Individual children with language or American Guidance
language administration, structured impairments, autism, cerebral Services
tasks palsy, or moderate disabilities www.agsnet.com
Cost: $129.95
26.Pre-Language • Measuring oral • Cognitive 4 yrs Time: 10-15 minutes to Languages: English, Spanish From: CTB/McGraw Hill
Assessment language • Language through administer the oral Training: Experience in test www.ctb.com
Scales (Pre-LAS proficiency and first grade language component; 5-10 administration
pre-literacy skills • Literacy minutes for pre-literacy
2000)
component
Easy:
Methods: Rating scale

27.Phelps • Screening • Identify readiness • Verbal processing Children Time: 20 minutes Languages: English From: Psychology
Kindergarten for school • Perceptual entering Easy: Relatively easy Press/Holistic Education
Readiness Scale kinder. Press
• Auditory Cycle: Designed to be
administered from the https://great-
• Language ideas.org/pk_price.htm
spring before a child enters
• Ability to compare kindergarten until the
and reproduce following fall.
shapes
• Memory
28.Preschool and • Screening • Socio-emotional 3 to 6 yrs Time: 12 minutes Languages: English, Spanish From: Pro-Ed, Inc
Kindergarten • Informing Training: Can be completed by www.proedinc.com
Behavior Scales instruction anyone who knows the child
(PKBS) • Conducting well. Scoring and interpretation
should be done by someone
research
with knowledge of basic
principles of educational and
psychological testing. Training
in understanding and assessing
child behavioral and emotional
problems is recommended.

Page 42 Commonly Used Instruments for Assessing School Readiness in Young Children
AGE
INSTRUMENT TYPE PURPOSE/USE FOCUS ADMINISTRATION SPECIFIC FEATURES ACCESSIBILITY
RANGE
29.Preschool • Norm- • Assessment • Early literacy 3 to 5 yrs Time: -45 minutes Languages: English From: Pro-Ed Publishing
Comprehensive referenced Training: Not available www.proedinc.com
Test of Other: The Pre-CTOPP was an
Phonological unpublished evaluation tool.
Processing (Pre- The parts that were published
CTOPP) in August 2007 are marketed
under the name Test of
Preschool Early Literacy (TOPEL)
and will be available through
Pro-Ed. The TOPEL includes the
definitional vocabulary
(expressive), phonological
awareness, and print
knowledge components from
the Pre-CTOPP.
30.Preschool • Standardized • Assessment • Language 2.5 to 6 yrs Methods: Individual Languages: English From: Center for Early
Individual Growth test • Social administration Education Development
and Development http://ggg.umr.edu or
• Cognitive
Indicators (IGDIs) Early Childhood
• Motor
Research Institute on
• Self-help Measuring Growth and
Development
www.getgotgo.net

31.Preschool • Screening • Expressive and Infant to Time: 20-40 minutes Languages: English, Spanish From: The Psychological
Language Scale – receptive 6.11 yrs Methods: Direct child Training: Familiarity with the Corporation
Fourth Edition language assessment manual and with assessing www.psychhorp,com
(PLS-4) young children is needed.
Paraprofessionals can be trained
to administer the instrument,
but interpretation of results
needs to be done by a clinician
who has training and
experience in diagnostic
assessment.

School Readiness Assessment: A Review of the Literature Page 43


AGE
INSTRUMENT TYPE PURPOSE/USE FOCUS ADMINISTRATION SPECIFIC FEATURES ACCESSIBILITY
RANGE
32.Receptive One- • Norm- • Assessing the • Language Infant Time: 10-15 minutes Languages: English, Spanish From: Academic
Word Picture referenced ability to through Methods: Direct child Training: Specialized training is Therapy Publications
Vocabulary Test understand the fourth assessment needed. Assessors should have www.academictherapy.
spoken and grade college-level work in com
(ROWPVT)
written vocabulary psychology or counseling and
of others work in testing or assessment,
or they should be licensed in
testing.
33.Social • Socio-emotional Methods: Teacher Languages: English From: Western
Competence and observation Training: Manual provided Psychological Services
Behavior (WPS)
Evaluation (SCBE) www.wpspublish.com

34.Social Skills • Norm- • Screening • Socio-emotional 3 yrs Time: 10-15 minutes per Languages: English.; From: Pearson
Rating System referenced (for • Informing • Academic through questionnaire Translated into Spanish for Assessment
(SRSS) students with instruction competence kinder. Methods: Teacher and FACES research www.pearsonassessmen
and without parent rating scales Training: In psychological ts.com
disabilities) • Tracking child
testing
outcomes
• Conducting
research
35.Story and Print • Assessing basic • Language 3 to 5 yrs Languages: English; Translated From: Unpublished
Concepts story concepts, • General in Spanish by FACES research www.acf.hhs.gov/progr
print concepts, knowledge and team ams/opre/hs/faces/instru
and the awareness ments/child_instru02/lan
mechanics of guage_story.pdf
reading
• Used in FACES
research

Page 44 Commonly Used Instruments for Assessing School Readiness in Young Children
AGE
INSTRUMENT TYPE PURPOSE/USE FOCUS ADMINISTRATION SPECIFIC FEATURES ACCESSIBILITY
RANGE
36.Teacher-Child • Screening • Socio-emotional Kinder. Time: 10 minutes Languages: English From: Children’s
Rating Scale (T- through Training: Manual provided Institute
CRS) third grade www.childrensinstitute.
net

37.Teacher Rating of • Language Methods: Teacher Languages: Teacher can rate From: Center for the
Oral Language • Reading observation competence in English and in Improvement of Early
and Literacy child’s native language Reading Achievement
• Writing
(TROLL) Training: Manual provided www.ciera.org

38.Woodcock • Norm- • Screening • Cognitive 2 to 90+ Time: 35-45 minutes Languages: English From: Riverside
Johnson III (W-J referenced • Informing • Math yrs Methods: Direct child Training: Only trained Publishing
III) instruction assessment personnel should administer www.riverpub.com
• General
• Tracking child the W-J III.
knowledge
outcomes • Language
• Conducting • Literacy
research
• Overall child
development
39.Work Sampling • Criterion- • Enhance teaching • Social –emotional 3 to 10 yrs Time: 15 minutes for Languages: English, Spanish From: Rebus Planning
System (WSS) referenced and learning • Language checklists Training: On-site training Associates
• Evaluate and track • Literacy
Easy: Yes – to learn and available by request. Only 1-800-435-3085 or
learning and administer trained professionals can Pearson Early Learning
progress • Math administer the WSS. Center
Methods: Naturalistic
• Replace report • Science teacher and parent www.pearsonearlylearni
cards and • Social studies observation, checklist, ng.com
standardized tests • Arts structured tasks, portfolios Cost: $67.00; $3.05 per
• Instructional Cycle:3 times per year for student
• Health/physical
planning each child

Sources: Aiona, S. (2005). Assessing school readiness. Educational Perspectives, 38. Sosna & Mastergeorge (2005). Compendium of screening tools for early childhood socio-emotional development.; Ohio
Department of Education (2007). Catalog of screening and assessment instruments for young children.; National Child Care Information Center (2007). Child outcome assessment tools for early childhood
education.; Child Trends (2004). Early Childhood Measure Profiles.; ELSTF (2005). Early Childhood Assessment for Children from Birth to Age 8 (Grade 3). Niemeyer, J. & Scott-Little, C. (2002).
Assessing kindergarten children: A compendium of assessment instruments.; and Shilady, A. L (2004). Choosing an appropriate assessment system. National Association for the Education of Young Children;
U.S. Department of Education (2007). A review of methods and instruments used in state and local school readiness evaluations.; Magdalena, J. (2007). Development and psychometric properties of the Early
Development Instrument (EDI): A measure of children's school readiness. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science. Online: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/ mi_qa3717/is_200701/ai_n19198202/print.

School Readiness Assessment: A Review of the Literature Page 45


Page 46 Commonly Used Instruments for Assessing School Readiness in Young Children
5
Recommendations for Future
Research
The information contained in this review of literature
is intended to be used to inform future research that
will help to identify the most appropriate practices
and instruments for conducting more systematic
assessments of 3, 4, and 5-year olds in Franklin
County. Thus, CRP does not advocate the use of any
particular practice or instrument described in this
report. Selecting a suitable system of school readiness
assessment for Franklin County will be the decision of
experts in the field of early childhood education and
community stakeholders who understand the needs
and challenges of children in central Ohio. This section
concludes the report and describes the following
recommendation for future research:
• Feasibility Study

School Readiness Assessment: A Review of the Literature Page 47


Page 48 Recommendations for Future Research
Feasibility Study
This review of literature in the field of research and early childhood education is
intended to provide information about the most appropriate practices and instruments for
assessing school readiness in prekindergarten children. Overall, the findings advocate
giving careful thought to several considerations before implementing practices and
instruments that assess children’s preparedness for school and potential future academic
success. Doing so will help to ensure that assessment results accurately reflect children’s
skills and capabilities, and are useful for guiding instruction. CRP does not promote the
use of any particular practice or instrument identified through this review.
Instead, CRP recommends that additional, more in-depth research be conducted, which
can help to identify practices and instruments that can be used to establish a more
coordinated system of school readiness assessment in Franklin County. More
specifically, CRP recommends that a follow-up feasibility study be conducted, in which
the opinions and thoughts of early childhood educators are sought to determine which
practices and instruments could feasibly be instituted in prekindergarten and kindergarten
settings across Franklin County. The feasibility study would also help to identify
practices and tools that accurately assess the preparedness of Franklin County’s children
for school and their potential future success.

School Readiness Assessment: A Review of the Literature Page 49


Page 50 Recommendations for Future Research
References
Aiona, S. (2005). Assessing school readiness. Educational Perspectives, Vol. 38. Online:
http://www.hawaii.edu/edper/pages/vol38n1.html.
Andrews, S.P., & Slate, J.R. (2001). Prekindergarten programs: a review of the literature.
Current Issues in Education. Online:
http://cie.asu.edu/volume4/number5/index.html.
Bruner, C., Floyd, S., & Copeman, A. (2005). Seven Things Policy Makers Need to
Know about School Readiness. Online:
http://www.finebynine.org/pdf/7%20Things.pdf.
Graue, M. E. (1993). Ready for What? Constructing Meanings of Readiness for
Kindergarten. Albany: State University of New York Press.
Graue, M. E. (2006). The answer is readiness – Now what is the question? Early
Education and Development, 17(1), 43-54. Online:
http://www.leaonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1207/s15566935eed1701_3
Keating, D. P. (2007). Formative evaluation of the Early Development Instrument:
Progress and prospects. Early Education and Development, 18(3), 561-570.
Gredler, G. R. (1992). School Readiness: Assessment and Educational Issues. Brandon,
VT: Clinical Psychology Publishing.
Gredler, G. R. (1997). Issues in early childhood screening and assessment. Psychology in
the Schools, 34, 99-106.
Early Learning Standards Task Force (2005). Early childhood assessment for children
from birth to age 8 (Grade 3). Online:
http://www.pakeys.org/docs/EarlyChildhoodAssessment.pdf.
Horton, C. & Bowman, B.T. (2002). Child assessment at the preprimary level: Expert
opinion and state trends. Occasional Paper. Online:
http://www.erikson.edu/files/nonimages /horton-bowman.pdf.
KIDS COUNT (2005, February). Getting ready: Findings from the National School
Readiness Indicators Initiative: a 17-state partnership. Prepared by KIDS COUNT
Rhode Island. Online: http://www.gettingready.org.
Lewit, E.M. & Schuurmann Baker, L. (1995). School readiness. The future of children
Critical Issues for Children and Youths 5(2). Online:
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Magdalena, J. (2007). Development and psychometric properties of the Early
Development Instrument (EDI): A measure of children's school readiness. Canadian
Journal of Behavioural Science, 39(1), 1-22 Online:
http://www.offordcentre.com/readiness/files/PUB.8.2006_Janus-Offord.pdf.
Maxwell, K. & Clifford, R. (2004). Research in review: School readiness assessment.
Young Children. Online: http://www.journal.naeyc.org/btj/200401/Maxwell.pdf.
Meisels, S. J. (1999). Assessing Readiness. In R. Pianta & M. J. Cox (Eds.), The
transition to kindergarten (pp. 39-66). Baltimore: Brookes.

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Meisels (1987). Uses and abuses of developmental screening and school readiness
testing. Young Children, 42(2), 46, 68-73.
Meisels, S. J. (1989). High-stakes testing in kindergarten. Educational Leadership, 46(7),
16-22.
National Association for the Education of Young Children (1995). School readiness: A
position statement from the National Association for the Education of Young
Children. Washington, D.C.: Author.
National Education Goals Panel (1997). Getting a good start in school. Washington,
D.C.: Author.
National Governor’s Association (2005). Building the foundation for bright futures:
Final report of the Task Force on School Readiness. Retrieved December 23, 2007
from http://www.nga.org.
Newberger, J. J. (1997). New brain development research – A wonderful window of
opportunity to build public support for early childhood education! Young Children,
52, 4-9.
Niemeyer, J. & Scott-Little, C. (2002). Assessing kindergarten children: A compendium
of assessment instruments. Online:
http://www.serve.org/_downloads/REL/Assessment/rdakcc.pdf.
Ohio Department of Education (2007). Catalog of screening and assessment instruments
for young children. Office of Early Learning and School Readiness.
Pianta, R. C. & LaParo, K. (2003). Improving early school success. Educational
Leadership, pp-24-29.
Saluja, G., Scott-Little, C., & Clifford, R. (2000). Readiness for school: A survey of state
policies and definitions. Early Childhood Research and Practice, 2, 2.
Shilady, A. L (2004). Choosing an appropriate assessment system. National Association
for the Education of Young Children.
Snow, K. L. (2006). Measuring school readiness: Conceptual and practical
considerations. Early Education and Development, 17(1), 7-41.
Sosna, T. & Mastergeorge, A. (2005). Compendium of screening tools for early
childhood social-emotional development. Online:
http://www.first5caspecialneeds.org/documents/IPFMHI_CompendiumofScreeningT
ools.pdf 
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Household Education Surveys Program (NHES), "Early Childhood Program
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Page 52 Recommendations for Future Research


http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICDocs/data/ericdocs2sql/content_storage_01/0000019b/
80/30/ac/3d.pdf.

School Readiness Assessment: A Review of the Literature Page 53