Second Grade Reading Assessment

Contact Information

Carey Kirkwood
Associate Director of Elementary English Language Arts

The Second Grade Reading Assessment Law (RCW.28A.300.320) mandates that every student in the state of Washington be assessed at the beginning of the second grade using a grade-level equivalent oral reading passage. Students whose performance is found to be "substantially below grade level" must be accorded an intervention plan that involves the student, parents, and school. Assessing reading comprehension is optional, but strongly recommended. Scores are not reported to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) but should be used by the teacher, school, and district to provide support for students who need help.

Why an oral reading passage? For over 90 years, educators and researchers have studied children's ability to read fluently (the capacity to read correctly and smoothly with expression) through timed reading of oral passages. The evidence shows that fluency is inextricably related to reading success, "the three separate oral reading abilities-- accuracy, rate, and fluency-- are related to each other, and all three are related to reading comprehension" (National Assessment of Educational Progress, 2002, p.v).

OSPI uses the Academic Screening Tools Charts from the National Center on Intensive Intervention (NCII) as a reference for selecting assessments. The current chart reflects results from years of reviews. This list provides up-to-date information on assessments. It is recommended that schools and districts review the assessment list and choose an assessment that meets the requirements and technical rigor of RCW 28A.300.320. In addition to the technical ratings, the chart provides information on the usability features.

Districts, schools, and educators should administer their selected assessment using publishers' directions. The administration process and results will ensure that educators, parents/guardians, and students will receive highly focused and useful information for increasing student achievement in reading.

View the Screening Tools Chart.

What if the assessment in my district has already been purchased and is not on NCII Academic Screening Tools Charts list?
If the assessment your district has already purchased and is not on NCII list, please check that it meets the criteria of RCW 28A.300.320. If you still have questions, please contact the English Language Arts office for assistance.