Assessing Early Literacy Growth in Preschoolers Using Individual Growth and Development Indicators

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Evidence of longitudinal relations between language and early literacy skills in early childhood and later reading (and other) achievement is growing, along with an expanding array of early education programs designed to improve later academic outcomes and prevent, reduce, or close later academic achievement gaps across groups. Assessment systems to support this intervention have been developed, but to date we have little evidence of these systems’ outcomes when used at a broad scale in community-based preschool programs. For this broad purpose, two research questions were addressed: (a) How much progress do children make on language and early literacy skills over the course of one school year? and (b) What is the relationship between child characteristics, baseline performance, and growth on language and early literacy skills? Results indicated growth over time for all measures and relations between child age, gender, and free-or-reduced-price status and students’ performance at the beginning of the school year, but (with one exception) no relation between these covariates and growth over time. Discussion centers on current status of language and early literacy assessment in early childhood education as well as needs and issues to be addressed in future research and program development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)173-183
Number of pages11
JournalAssessment for Effective Intervention
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge assistance in conducting this research from Drs. Amy Williamson, Sarah Brown, Greg Feldman, and Janell Brandhorst from the Iowa Department of Education, and the teachers and students who participated in Phase 1 of Iowa TIER. The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was supported in part by a contract from the Iowa Department of Education to the University of Minnesota, however, no official endorsement should be inferred.

Publisher Copyright:
© Hammill Institute on Disabilities 2018.


  • growth
  • literacy
  • preschool
  • seasonal assessment


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