Literacy Assessment Explainer: Measuring Third Grade Reading Proficiency

When the Foundation adopted its Oakland Education Strategy 2020, no common assessment system existed following the state’s transition away from the California Standards Tests. In alignment with Oakland Reads 2020, the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD), and the Mayor’s Office, the Foundation selected the Reading Inventory (formerly known as the Scholastic Reading Inventory or SRI) as its reading proficiency benchmark as it was the only consistently and widely administered assessment at the time. While the Foundation continues to track and report on progress towards 85% reading proficiency as measured by the Reading Inventory, we know that we are missing data for roughly one quarter of Oakland third grade public students that attend charter schools throughout the city. In 2017, the state adopted the Smarter Balanced Assessments (SBAC), part of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress system, which tracks proficiency in English Language Arts  (ELA) and math for all California public schools. With this comprehensive data set, the Foundation also now tracks progress towards reading proficiency by looking at the SBAC ELA Reading Claim for all Oakland schools and students.

For a current look at third grade reading proficiency in OUSD schools, visit the public OUSD Reading Inventory interactive dashboard as well as this sheet for third grade Fountas & Pinnell and SBAC scores over three years.