Mercer County adopts new reading assessment tool

PRINCETON, WV, June 2, 2014: Upon the vote of a majority of K-3, Special Education and Title I teachers, Mercer County Schools will begin using a new reading assessment tool in the Fall of 2014.

Mercer County teachers will begin using STAR Reading and STAR Early Literacy as a replacement for DIBELS Next in grades K-3. In making this change, Mercer County joins thirty-nine other counties across WV that have adopted the STAR assessment instrument for reading.

Star Reading will also be made available to 4th and 5th grade teachers providing these teachers for the first time with a standard assessment tool that can be used to guide their reading instruction.

While STAR Reading and STAR Early Literacy are new for most Mercer County teachers, several schools piloted the STAR Reading/STAR Early Literacy assessments during the 2013-2014 school year. Mercer County 1st and 2nd grade teachers are no strangers to STAR assessments, having made the choice to adopt STAR Math last year. Beginning this fall, STAR Math will be made available countywide to teachers in grades 3-5, as well.

Over the past several months, a study group comprised of teachers and principals has compared STAR to DIBELS, having put together a chart of Favorability/Unfavorable factors of both assessment tools. Group members then presented their findings to K-3 teachers in Wednesday Collaboration Sessions. Upon completion of the collaboration sessions, teachers and principals were able to access an online survey to vote for the tool they believed would provide the most accurate and useful assessment of student learning.

Teachers will be trained in the use of the new assessment tool during professional development sessions on August 4th. For more information , contact Rick Ball, Assistant Superintendent, or any of the el ementary/Title I supervisory staff.