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Hello, colleagues,

I have been teaching for the last three years at a small community college
in Arkansas.
This institution had previously used  the ASSET test as a general placement
test for all incoming
students when it was still a postsecondary vocational-technical school .
 When the school  began seeking North Central Accreditation status in 1991, and
in 1992, began putting a developmental education department together,
it was recommended by a neighboring four-year university, as well as a
consultant at the Arkansas Department of Higher Education, that they add the
Nelson-Denny reading test to further assess students for placement in the
appropriate level of  developmental reading courses.

The only problem is that the ASSET test scores may indicate that a student
is appropriately
placed  in an upper level developmental reading course, and three days later,
the Nelson-Denny results may show that the student needs to be in a more
fundamental course, according to the resultant grade level equivalencies.

This causes lots of problems within the first two weeks of class for
students, instructors,
and administrators.  Students think that they have been properly placed, and
in fact, have
 only begun to find out what is an appropriate placement level in reading
when they have finished the ASSET.

Although the Arkansas Department of Higher Education mandates that additional
testing be given to entering students,[just after the ASSET or ACT], in both
English and math,
 there is no such guidance for the  fundamental and crucial area of reading.

I had noticed a few weeks ago that there were several postings to do with
alternate reading
assessments to the Nelson-Denny.  Do any of you know how I could obtain data
that indicates
a better correlation between the ASSET and any of these other reading measures?

Thank you in advance,

Lisa Armstrong
Pulaski Technical College
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(501) 851-6608