ReadReady History of ReadReady (RISE/SARA)

The ReadReady assessment, from the Educational Testing Service (ETS), is one of the most advanced and researched diagnostic tools currently on the market. In order to fully appreciate its thoroughness, depth, and academic importance, we must briefly review the history of the project as a whole.

ReadReady is supported by a strong foundation of research, beginning with SARA (the Study of Adult Reading Acquisition) by Dr. John Sabatini. Dr. Sabatini is currently a Distinguished Research Professor in the Institute for Intelligent Systems at the University of Memphis. He has been researching adult and adolescent literacy since the late 1990s. He spent several years at the National Center for Adult Literacy and has been involved in numerous domestic and international literacy projects, including the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) and the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA).

In 2004, Dr. Sabatini moved to the Educational Testing Service and began working to create the RISE (Reading Inventory and Scholastic Evaluation), the predecessor to ReadReady. This work was spurred by a collaboration with the Strategic Education Research Partnership (SERP), a group that works closely with numerous school districts across the U.S. Those school districts noted that many of their middle school students were arriving at 6th grade with weak reading skills, but the schools weren’t equipped to identify exactly where their weaknesses were--or what to do about them. RISE was initially designed specifically for middle school students, to give schools the information they needed to help struggling readers... The project was funded by grants from SERP, Carnegie, and Lila Wallace.

One of the first large-scale administrations of the RISE battery occurred in a school district in Massachusetts in 2007. This allowed the battery to be field tested for the first time with students in entire middle schools. The field tests expanded in 2012 to include a large district in Maryland, which allowed ETS and the SERP Institute to refine RISE based on user feedback and analysis the the data. In 2016, the team performed a national norming study in grades 3-12, after which the RISE evolved into its current form under the name ReadReady, officially distributed by Capti Voice.

ReadReady measures foundational reading skills and reading comprehension. Foundational reading skills enable readers to decode printed text and recognize words, to understand the meaning of words and word parts, and to read fluently. These skills are related to each other, but do not develop neatly, one after another, and are not formed in a vacuum. ReadReady is split into 6 subtests. The first five subtests measure five foundational skills. These skills are Word Recognition and Decoding, Vocabulary, Morphology, Sentence Processing, and Reading Efficiency. While other assessments measure some of these skills, the silent decoding and morphology subtests are unique to RISE/ReadReady.

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