IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Measuring beginner reading skills: An empirical evaluation of alternative instruments and their potential use for policymaking and accountability in Peru

Listed author(s):
  • Kudo, Ines


    (The World Bank)

  • Bazan, Jorge

    (Pontifical Catholic University of Peru)

Registered author(s):

    Based on analysis of reading performance data from 475 third-graders in Peru, this study makes recommendations on improving reading tests, choice of reading standards, and how to present the results at the school and individual levels. The paper reviews the literature on using reading skills measurement in the early grades to guide policymaking, strengthen accountability, and improve education quality. It uses data generated from the same students using two common approaches to measuring reading skills: an individually-administered oral fluency test, and a group-administered written comprehension test designed by the Ministry of Education for the 2006 universal standard test of second grade reading comprehension. These two approaches have sometimes been presented as competing alternatives, but the paper shows that it is better if they are used together, as complements. Based on psychometric analysis, the paper shows that both the oral and written tests adequately measured studentsâÃÂàreading abilities. The results show that reading fluency and comprehension are correlated: fluent readers are more likely to understand what they read than non-fluent readers. The strength of the fluency-comprehension relationship depends on the level of fluency, the difficulty of the questions, and social characteristics of the school. The paper recommends using improved versions of both tests to evaluate early grade reading skills, as a central element of a system of accountability for results. It proposes a model for reporting test results desgned to highlight the importance of reading standards, mobilize the education community to reach them, track progress, and identify students in need of extra support.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    File Function: Full text
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4812.

    in new window

    Length: 91 pages
    Date of creation: 01 Jan 2009
    Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4812
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20433

    Phone: (202) 477-1234
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    in new window

    1. Helen Abadzi, 2006. "Efficient Learning for the Poor : Insights from the Frontier of Cognitive Neuroscience," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7023, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4812. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roula I. Yazigi)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.