SRI tests that show a decrease!!!!

Anyone have any clue why a few students would show a decrease on their SRI test??!! They were tested at the end of last school year and I just tested them yesterday. Many students show great gains while several other showed a nasty decrease. I thought that maybe it was a testing flaw and let a couple take it again....to no avail they went even lower!! What is the deal?

By jmassey
Posted on: December 09 2010
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  • Yes Ive experienced the same!

    I have had this happen, too. Sometimes when I ask the kids why they give me reasons like "I really did not try." or "I have not worked hard on the computers when I am on them."  The other thing to think about is that maybe the first SRI was the fluke.  Check your Read 180 progress reports to see what % of comprehension and vocabulary questions and spelling words the student is answering correctly.  I have been frustrated by this happening a few times, especially when they retest and they go even lower.  Our district allows me to enter the higher of the two scores manually. 


    If you do decide to re-test those students, be certain to delete the "bad" test before you have them test again.  Part of the algorithm for figuring the Lexile in the SRI is time between tests.  If you re-test those students without removing the "bad" test and re-test in a few days, the software thinks, "I already know this student's Lexile level.  Why is the student being tested again?"  Then the score is close to the "bad" test score. Dee

    Like Dee said... 1. make sure to delete the bad score before retesting 2. talk with the student.  Encourage them.  Give them a pep talk. 3. ensure a positive testing environment... make sure the student is well rested, fed, and ready. 4. make student's accountable.  Give them a class grade based on their growth.  Depending on the time between the scores, I set a certain number of points for an A, a few less than the benchmark for a B, a near score for a C, a few points drop for a D and a major drop for a F. 5. only allow one or at most two retest where you simply drop the "bad" score.  Do not let this be the norm for bad scores. 6. use this testing as a teachable moment for goal setting


    I've been re-reading this discussion and want to emphasize that deleting a "bad" test should be a rare occurrence.  We don't want to get in the habit of deleting test scores and re-testing.

    JMassey: You said this is their first tests since last year.  Ask the students if they read throughout the summer.  If they did not practice the skills they learned, it is possible that their Lexile might drop.  I have had this happen, but those students always have told me they did not read all summer.  In your case, it's even longer as we are 1 1/2 MP's into the school year.  (This is also a good "teachable moment" to underscore the importance of reading at home.  In addition, If I am recalling correctly, there is a standard deviation of 70 points in the Lexile scores.  Students could be 70 pts lower, or higher than their tested Lexile.  When you retested, did you delete their previous score?  This also has an effect. 

    When I give SRI retests, generally at the end of a marking period, Students are told that they can earn up to 5 extra credit points added to their marking period grade.  This usually does the trick. We also keep an eye on their progress and if the passages suddenly start getting smaller, or they are on the computer for longer than 20-25 minutes, we have them exit the SRI (saving the results) and have them continue the next day.  I occassionally have students redo a poor test, but this doesn't happen often.  The second test feels more difficult because instead of starting low, like the initial SRI does, subsequent SRI's start around the students last tested Lexile.

    I've been having the same problem, I feel so much better after reading this thread. Thanks for all the advice!


    There is a great article at the International Reading Association website called "Closing the Summer Reading Gap: You Can Make a Difference!" by Linda Gambrell.  I have linked the article above or you can copy and paste the address:  http://www.reading.org/General/Publications/ReadingToday/RTY-0804-summer.aspx. What I like about this article is she does not just report that there is a gap, she gives suggestions for what we as teachers can do. Dee Ask Dee at the READ 180 Community    

    At a recent workshop, the consultant reminded us that once the students have taken the test, the next test starts at their new tested level. Some students panic when the test does not start with easier questions they may have received when the program was trying to find their lexile level for the first time.  The other point the consultant made was that a test with a drop of more than sixty points should be considered invalid. With the summertime issue, i have noticed that there are more than a few students that perform poorly on district tests in the fall.  Their scores tend to rebound if they are retested in the winter or spring.  I have had students who have obviously been misplaced because of aberrant poor scores.  The district uses the most recent, available score only.

    I have had this happen many times. I work with middle school students so it must be different, but it always depends on the situation. If the child has a score that is already a higher level than it should be, it is very hard for the student to redo that and compete with even their own score. Their score might drop a few points. This is okay as long as they meet the requirements and stayed in the same category. If not... it is a different issue. Sorry.

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