“SERP field sites are structured as a set of three closely connected, and partially overlapping, groups: The Core Group, The Design Team, and the Research Team.”
Boston Field Site
Current Research Collaborations
What tools can we use to better understand the prevalence and nature of middle school students' literacy problems?
Development of the RISE (Reading Inventory and Scholastic Evaluation) assessment on six key components: word recognition and decoding; vocabulary; morphology (word formation); sentence processing; reading efficiency; and reading comprehension is underway by a SERP R&D team consisting of researches from the Educational Testing Service, educators from BPS and scholars from Harvard and Boston Universities.
Timeline: 2005 to present
John Sabatini, ETS
Kelly Bruce, ETS
Suzanne Donovan, SERP
Catherine Snow, Harvard
Sky Marietta, Harvard
The RISE is a group-administered computerized screening and diagnostic battery for understanding the prevalence and nature of middle grade students' literacy problems. The RISE is carefully designed to fit within a single (45 minute) class period while providing data on six key components: word recognition and decoding; vocabulary; morphology (word formation); sentence processing; reading efficiency; and reading comprehension. Results are provided for each component as scale scores within three proficiency levels (proficient, needs improvement, or warning), providing profiles of students' strengths and weaknesses. Reports are tailored to the needs of different users (e.g. teacher, school, district). The RISE fills a gap between individually-administered diagnostic tests and off-the-shelf assessments. While already proving to be of great value in practice settings, the RISE is still under development and available only to SERP and ETS district partners at this time.
The RISE was developed in response to the Boston Public Schools' (BPS) expressed need for diagnostic information about the nature and severity of student difficulties in reading that could be acquired through a group administered test in a normal classroom setting. SERP assembled an R&D Design team to address the issue, inviting researchers from the Educational Testing Service (ETS), educators from BPS, and scholars from Harvard and Boston Universities. An iterative process ensued in which schools (in Boston, Brockton, and Falmouth) piloted prototypes and shared results with the research team. The collaboration resulted in an instrument that met school needs for accessible information about student literacy skills. Developed in situ, the RISE fits the constraints of practical settings; it can be administered to a group of students in one class period on either PC or MAC computers, and results are available within just a few days.
The RISE has undergone five pilots. It was administered in 29 schools to over 7,500 students in grades 4 – 11. Reliabilities (Cronbach's Alphas) for five of the subtests range from 0.87 to 0.91, with the sixth falling at 0.78.
The RISE is in an advanced state of development. It may be used under a written agreement with SERP and ETS that allows for data-sharing. School and district reports are customized
Heretofore piloted in Massachusetts schools on PCs, in 2010 the SERP-ETS partnership developed a MAC-ready version of the RISE with support from the Carnegie Corporation. Plans are being developed to pilot the instrument in other states.