New Computer-based Assessment Measures the Foundational Reading Skills of Adolescent Struggling Readers


Scholastic Phonics Inventory™ helps schools place and measure
the progress of challenged readers


NEW YORK, N.Y. — November 10, 2010 — Scholastic (NASDAQ: SCHL), the global children’s publishing, education and media company, today announced the release of a breakthrough, research-based tool designed to assess the foundational reading skills of struggling students. The Scholastic Phonics Inventory (SPI), designed for use in grades 3-12, helps schools accurately and efficiently place struggling readers in appropriate intervention programs and track their progress over time. Scholastic Phonics Inventory (SPI) responds to schools' urgent need to identify which students are still struggling with basic reading skills in order to provide the right type of intervention.

Because SPI is computer-based, the technology allows schools to assess the foundational reading skills of hundreds of students simultaneously, removing the need for labor intensive, one-on-one assessments. It is administered three times over the course of a year to assess the effectiveness of interventions and monitor students’ progress. Providing actionable data in reports automatically generated after a 10-minute test, SPI is designed to align with Response to Intervention initiatives.

"Millions of students struggle to read, making it extremely difficult for them to be successful in any subject in school," said Margery Mayer, President of Scholastic Education. "Teachers still need help, however, figuring out which kids are struggling to read because of weak phonics and decoding skills versus other reasons. SPI – a fast, validated assessment to diagnose the nature of a student’s reading challenges – helps schools give these students the right kind of help at the right time to put them on a path toward success."

By capturing both the accuracy and the speed of student response to test items, SPI provides powerful insights on students' reading skills, helping educators determine if a student's struggles are due to inadequate foundational skills or other factors, such as a lack of background knowledge, limited vocabulary or weak reading comprehension strategies.

Developed under the guidance of Dr. Richard Wagner, distinguished research professor at Florida State University and co-director of the Florida Center for Reading Research, SPI has been validated against the Test of Word Reading Efficiency (TOWRE) and reading subtests of the Woodcock-Johnson® III.

Scholastic Phonics Inventory is the newest addition to Scholastic's widely regarded suite of assessment tools, which include Scholastic Reading Inventory (SRI), Scholastic Math Inventory (SMI) and Scholastic Reading Counts! (SRC). The program is a component of Scholastic’s System 44, a foundational reading and phonics intervention program but is now also available as a stand-alone assessment designed to work with any reading intervention. SPI also contains scoring accommodations for students unable to use a mouse or for students unable to take a timed assessment.

For more information about Scholastic, visit our Media Room at


Tyler Reed