Approved Reading Assessments
The Nebraska Reading Improvement Act (Nebraska Revised Statute 79-2601) went into effect in 2019, requiring school districts to administer a Nebraska Department of Education approved reading assessment three times each year for all students in kindergarten through 3rd grade. Pursuant to the Nebraska Reading Improvement Act, through the NebraskaREADS initiative, the NDE makes public the list of reading assessments that have been approved for the following academic school year by March 1st.
As the NDE embarked on approving universal screeners for the 22-23 school year, it became clear there was a need to re-evaluate previously approved assessments using a more robust set of criteria aligned to new research about the science of reading and to Nebraska’s new 2021 ELA standards for K-3 foundational reading.
The NDE synthesized evaluator ratings and evidence to identify all assessments that meet or exceed a minimum threshold. The following assessments are approved for use in school year 2022-2023.
The K-3 Reading Assessment Considerations for 2022-2023
The K-3 Reading Assessment Considerations document provides guidance for identifying an appropriate assessment screener for your students.
2022-2023 Approved Assessments
The NDE drafted a comprehensive rubric unique to Nebraska. The Nebraska rubric borrows language for indicators related to validity, reliability, administration, scoring, and diverse populations from other states’ rubrics and criteria. In an effort to develop a literacy-centric and user-friendly tool, the Nebraska rubric minimizes the use of highly technical language, includes literacy constructs to prioritize research-based approaches to foundational skills instruction, and leverages essential questions to drive evaluation for each indicator. The draft rubric was reviewed by a small group of ad hoc committee members, revised based on stakeholder feedback, and tested using sample proposals.
In October 2021, NDE published a Request for Information (RFI) with requirements for alignment to the rubric. The following vendors submitted proposals for the indicated assessments in response to the RFI:
- Amplify Education: mClass DIBELS 8th
- Curriculum Associates: i-Ready
- EarlyBird Education: EarlyBird
- Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: Amira
- Illuminate Education: FastBridge Suite (aReading, CBMreading, earlyReading)
- Istation: ISIP Reading
- NWEA: MAP Suite (MAP Growth Reading, MAP Reading Fluency)
- Pearson Clinical Assessment: DRA3 and aimswebPlus
- Renaissance: Star Reading Suite (Star Early Literacy, Star Reading, Star CBM Reading)
- Voyager Sopris Learning: Acadience Reading
In November 2021, the NDE convened an ad hoc committee of 16 Nebraska school district representatives well-versed in early literacy to norm on scoring using the rubric and evaluate each proposal. Evaluators first rated the proposal independently, then normed on ratings in small groups and submitted scores and evidence. Over 5 rounds of evaluation, each proposal was rated at least twice by different evaluator groups. Any assessments that scored inconsistently across groups were reevaluated by a smaller subset of the ad hoc committee in early December.
The NDE synthesized evaluator ratings and evidence to identify all assessments that met or exceeded a minimum threshold. The following assessments are approved for use in SY22-23 and will be published with cut scores on the NebraskaREADS website by March 1, 2022:
- Acadience Reading (Voyager Sopris Learning)
- aimswebPlus (Pearson)
- Amira (HMH)
- DRA3* (Pearson)
- FastBridge Suite: aReading, CBMreading, earlyReading (Illuminate Education)
- i-Ready (Curriculum Associates)
- ISIP Reading (Istation)*
- MAP Suite: MAP Growth Reading, MAP Reading Fluency (NWEA)
- mClass DIBELS 8th (Amplify Education)
- Star Reading Suite: Star Early Literacy, Star Reading, Star CBM Reading (Renaissance)
*Indicates assessment is new to the list of approved assessments for SY22-23.
The NDE is thankful to the following Nebraska educators for sharing their expertise, time, and passion for early literacy:
- Angela Dubuc, Early Literacy Education Specialist, Nebraska Children and Families Foundation
- Ann Foster, Elementary Curriculum Coordinator, Lexington Public Schools
- Audra Haas, Title Reading Specialist, Kearney Public Schools
- Brittney Bills, Curriculum Coordinator, Grand Island Public Schools
- Kady Maresh, Instructional/MTSS Coach, Fremont Public Schools
- Kendra Ross, K-6 Reading Specialist, Walthill Public Schools
- Kristin Weaver, First Grade Teacher, Loomis Public Schools
- Lisa Oltman, K-6 Language Arts Curriculum Specialist, Lincoln Public Schools
- Lori Thomas, Literacy Facilitator, Omaha Public Schools
- Mary Jo McElhose, NeMTSS Systems Consultant, Nebraska Department of Education
- Michelle Ryan, Literacy Facilitator, Omaha Public Schools
- Michelle Schleicher, Reading Specialist, Fremont Public Schools
- Sara Robinson, Academic Support Coach, Grand Island Public Schools
- Sarah Sell, Elementary Assistant Principal, Crete Public Schools
- Troy Baker, School Psychologist, Lincoln Public Schools
- Violet Glasshoff, Assistant Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Gretna Public Schools