The Impact of High-Stakes Assessments on Beliefs about Reading, Perceptions of Self-as-Reader, and Reading Proficiency of Two Urban Students Retained in Third Grade

Prisca Martens


This yearlong study explores the perceptions of self-as-reader, beliefs about reading, and reading proficiency of two urban students retained in third grade on the basis of high-stakes assessment scores. The data presented focus on four individual reading and retrospective miscue analysis (RMA) sessions each student had with the researcher across one school year. When the study began, the students were less focused on reading for meaning and did not perceive themselves as good readers. In RMA sessions the students read and retold stories and then analyzed high quality miscues with the researcher facilitating their revaluation of reading as a process of constructing meaning and themselves as capable readers. Findings show that while the students grew in their understanding of the reading process and in their reading proficiency, they did not fully change their perceptions of themselves as readers. Thus the impact of the high-stakes assessment superseded the understanding the students gained while participating in more authentic reading experiences.


reading proficiency, beliefs about reading, beliefs about self, miscue analysis

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