Why is there not a retell after the one minute reading fluency?

In terms of the "read / retell" measures offered by some other test developers, we considered offering those as part of easyCBM, but the science behind them was insufficient to convince us that they actually measure comprehension with sufficient reliability to include with our other measures.

Several things that can decrease the reliability of a "read/retell" test as a measure of students' reading comprehension are:

  • Working memory (higher working memory can help a student perform better on a retell test)
  • Retell tests are limited to literal comprehension; we wanted to include literal, inferential (and for grades 3 and higher), evaluative comprehension as well.
  • Inconsistency in the person scoring the students' responses (inter-rater reliability for such measures is often lower than we strive for).

Ultimately, we opted to use measures of comprehension where we could empirically validate the comparability of alternate forms (using Item Response Theory), remove the construct irrelevant variance associated with human interpretation of the quality of a student's response, and which more closely paralleled the way we ask students to use reading comprehension across the curriculum (reading a passage and having access to that passage while they respond to questions to assess their understanding not only of the literal events that took place but also the more challenging task of interpreting the text and evaluating the nuances of the written word).

Although a read/retell assessment can give some useful information about what students remember about what they read, and whether or not they picked up on some of the details in the text, we felt it was insufficient to be considered a useful measure of students' reading comprehension.

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