As a long-time reading instruction specialist, I must take exception to your rejection of the validity of standardized reading test scores (SRTS) in your editorial in the November/December issue (“Beware the beguiling idea”). Please let me explain why.

It is well-established empirically that SRTS correlate highly with judgments by teachers as to how well their students can read.

It is equally well-settled that SRTS are a more reliable form of reading performance measurement than are teachers’ opinions of the reading ability of students. That is to say, SRTS are more “objective” assessments of students’ progress in learning to read than are the views of this matter by teachers at large.

The cost-effectiveness of various kinds of reading instruction is best evaluated through the collection of SRTS.

No reputable reading instruction specialist I know of contends that SRTS are “infallible” evidence of students’ reading proficiency, your views to the contrary notwithstanding. However, SRTS are not a “murky gauge” of how well students can comprehend written material.

Patrick Groff, Professor of Education Emeritus, San Diego State University

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