Articles on: Literacy

Standardised Testing SOMETIMES for particular students not correlating to the PLD Stages? Can you assist?

For the majority of students there will be a rough correlation between their PLD stages and their standardised spelling age. For a small percentage the correlation seems to be significantly out. (Eg their standardised age is strong but their PLD stage is lower or visa versa).

Keep in mind that each standardised test will likely give a different operational age. It is just an indication one a single day. It is possible test again with a different test and see if the operational age is similar or that one test an inflated score occurs.

PLD strongly promotes the sourcing of standardised scores for end of year reporting. However when the scores is placed in the spreadsheet for the next school year, teachers have two types of information to utilise when deciding upon which PLD stage to place the student into for the term ahead. For students for whom this correlation does not seem to occur, teacher judgement can occur to utilise which ever piece of testing (ie the PLD placement test or the standardised score).

Keep in mind also that the correlation between the placement test and standardised scores is strongest in the PLD stages 1 to 4. As students reach stage 5, most on a standardised test will score over a 12 year old level.

There are issues with standardised tests; some have older norms, some were designed in the ‘Whole Language’ phase of education, some have Australian norms and others overseas norms. You mentioned the South Australian Spelling Test. Yes it is cheap, a self marked test (as opposed to sending it off for processing) but the standardisation is getting dated.

If it is smaller percentage of (and upper primary) students that exhibit the issues you are describing then retain the assessment tool you are using. Otherwise you may be advised to look at alternatives.

If you would like to share your spreadsheet and schedule a meeting with the PLD office this is also an option.

Updated on: 04/12/2023

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