Assessment for Reading Instruction

Fourth Edition

Katherine A. Dougherty Stahl, Kevin Flanigan, and Michael C. McKenna

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December 9, 2019
ISBN 9781462541584
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345 Pages
Size: 8" x 10½"
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345 Pages
Size: 8" x 10½"
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Price: $42.00 $31.50
345 Pages
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Now in a revised and updated fourth edition, this accessible text has given over 100,000 preservice and inservice teachers vital tools for systematic reading assessment in grades K–8. The book explains how to use both formal and informal assessments to evaluate students' strengths and needs in all components of reading. Effective, engaging methods for targeted instruction in each area are outlined. In a convenient large-size format, the book includes 30 reproducible tools, plus an additional multipage assessment in an online-only appendix. Purchasers get access to a companion website where they can download and print the reproducible materials.

New to This Edition

“This practical and comprehensive guide is an essential resource for every literacy educator. The volume not only offers an array of high-utility assessment tools, but also situates their use in evidence-based understandings about literacy development. The authors offer concrete guidance for interpreting assessment results and responding with instruction. The fourth edition includes many of the features that made earlier editions so powerful, and is made even better by its enhanced focus on the intermediate grades. This is an exceptional text for preservice literacy education and for practicing teachers who are looking to extend their skills in using assessment to support students’ literacy development.”

—Gina N. Cervetti, PhD, Literacy, Language, and Culture Program, School of Education, University of Michigan

“Assessment is critical for guiding and improving reading instruction. The fourth edition of this highly readable text carries on a remarkable legacy of making assessment doable, meaningful, and authentic for teachers and scholars. Stahl, Flanigan, and McKenna comprehensively cover what should be assessed in reading, including the all-important affective domain. New to this edition are a greater focus on Latin and Greek word roots, as well as new guidance and support for assessing student retellings. The authors have truly moved the goalposts when it comes to best assessment practices in reading.”

—Timothy Rasinski, PhD, Professor of Literacy Education and Rebecca Tolle and Burton W. Gorman Chair in Educational Leadership, Kent State University

“The fourth edition addresses the 'whats,' 'whys,' and 'how-tos' of assessing students’ reading skills. It provides a comprehensive framework and set of tools for teachers and interventionists to identify students' needs and provide targeted instruction. The revisions and updates are clearly explicated in the introduction and first chapter. New content on assessments for middle school fills in the gaps from the third edition. This is the best reading assessment text available.”

—Lori M. Strong, PhD, Department of Literacy and Special Education, College of Saint Rose

Table of Contents

1. Introduction to Reading Assessment

2. General Concepts of Assessment

3. Informal Reading Inventories and Other Measures of Oral Reading

4. Emergent Literacy

5. Word Recognition and Spelling sample

6. Fluency

7. Vocabulary

8. Comprehension

9. Strategic Knowledge

10. Affective Factors

11. Assessing Readers in Grades 4–8: Guiding Concepts

12. Preparing a Diagnostic Reading Report

Appendix. Case Studies

About the Authors

Katherine A. Dougherty Stahl, EdD, is Clinical Professor of Reading at New York University, where she serves as Director of the Literacy Program and teaches graduate courses. In addition to teaching in public elementary school classrooms for over 25 years, Dr. Stahl has extensive experience working with struggling readers in clinical settings. Her research focuses on reading acquisition, struggling readers, and comprehension. She is coauthor of Assessment for Reading Instruction, Fourth Edition; Developing Reading Comprehension: Effective Instruction for All Students in PreK–2; and Reading Assessment in an RTI Framework. Dr. Stahl is a recipient of the Jeanne Chall Visiting Researcher Award from Harvard University and the Teaching Excellence Award from the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development at New York University.

Kevin Flanigan, PhD, is Professor in the Literacy Department at West Chester University of Pennsylvania (WCU). He works in the WCU Reading Center along with master’s students to assess and teach children who struggle to read and write. A former middle-grades classroom teacher and reading specialist/coach, Dr. Flanigan researches and writes about developmental word knowledge and struggling readers. He is coauthor of several books, including Assessment for Reading Instruction, Fourth Edition, and Developing Word Recognition.

Michael C. McKenna, PhD, was Thomas G. Jewell Professor of Reading in the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia until his death in 2016. He authored, coauthored, or edited more than 20 books, including Assessment for Reading Instruction, Fourth Edition; How to Plan Differentiated Reading Instruction, Second Edition: Resources for Grades K–3; and Organizing the Early Literacy Classroom; as well as over 100 articles, chapters, and technical reports on a range of literacy topics. Dr. McKenna also served as Series Editor, with Sharon Walpole, of The Essential Library of PreK–2 Literacy. He was a corecipient of the Edward B. Fry Book Award from the Literacy Research Association and the Award for Outstanding Academic Books from the American Library Association, and was a member of the Reading Hall of Fame.


K–8 classroom teachers and reading specialists; upper-level undergraduates and graduate students in education.

Course Use

Serves as a text in such courses as Reading Assessment, Reading Diagnosis and Instruction, Assessment of Reading Problems, and Reading Difficulties.
Previous editions published by Guilford:

Third Edition, © 2015
ISBN: 9781462521043

Second Edition, © 2009
ISBN: 9781606230350

First Edition, © 2003
ISBN: 9781572308671
New to this edition: