The CCSS Reading measures were developed to fill a need for easier-access reading comprehension measures for students still developing their Literal Comprehension skills. They include brief literal comprehension questions related to short informational and literary text passages as well as “read to perform a task” graphics such as maps, charts, and tables. Because they were designed for students who are struggling readers, they are ideal for progress monitoring, but not as useful as benchmark screening assessments. Students who are near grade-level proficiency already will ’top out’ on these simpler reading measures. This is referred to as a ‘ceiling effect’.
Unlike the CCSS Reading measures, the more challenging MCRC measures more accurately capture the reading comprehension of students who are at or above grade level in this construct. The MCRC measures, with their focus on inferential and evaluative as well as literal comprehension, are much better suited for Benchmark Screening. Student performance on the MCRC measures is included in the computation of “Risk Ratings” because these measures provide useful information about a wide range of students’ risk in the area of literacy.
The CCSS Reading measures are recommended for Progress Monitoring rather than Benchmark Screening. They are provided as an optional Benchmark assessment, but scores from the CCSS Reading measures are not included in the Benchmark Report / Risk Rating because of the ‘ceiling effect’ described above.