Last updated on April 19, 2014 at 18:42 EDT

PALS Expands in Wisconsin as the Statewide Universal Literacy Screener

August 6, 2013

State selects the Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS) for all children in grades preK-2

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., Aug. 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — CaseNEX, LLC is proud to announce that the Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS) has expanded to two additional grade levels in Wisconsin. This new statewide contract builds on the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s decision last year to choose PALS as the state’s reading screener for kindergarten students based on the criteria established under the 2011 Wisconsin Act 166.

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The statute called for a research-based assessment of reading readiness for kindergarten students, which would identify kindergarteners struggling with components of early literacy. Based on the recommendations of the Wisconsin Governor’s Read to Lead Task Force and their own independent research, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction chose PALS as the universal literacy screening tool for implementation in Wisconsin public schools, beginning in the 2012-2013 school year.

The 2013-15 Wisconsin state budget process recommended an expansion of PALS to four-year-old kindergarten and first grade in 2013 and to second grade in 2014. Governor Scott Walker signed the budget in June of 2013, supporting PALS as the universal literacy screener in Wisconsin for four-year-old kindergarten, five-year-old kindergarten, and all first and second grade students. The 2013 Wisconsin Act 20 provides $2.8 million to expand the use of PALS to the additional grades over the next two years. The reading screener will ensure that teachers can measure basic reading skills for all students from four-year-old kindergarten through second grade.

PALS differentiates itself from other literacy assessments through its unique strengths and capabilities, including:

  • Assessment of the literacy skills considered to be the most accurate precursors to reading readiness.
  • Embedded assessments that closely resemble the tasks typified in early literacy curriculum.
  • Immediate assessment results through PALS Online Score Entry and the PALS Reporting System.
  • Extensive instructional resources that help teachers to easily integrate assessment data into targeted classroom reading instruction.

From universal screening and diagnosis to lesson plans and professional development, PALS provides Wisconsin’s educators a cohesive and comprehensive set of tools designed to meet the literacy needs of all students from four-year-old kindergarten through second grade.

To ensure that all four-year-old kindergarten through second grade teachers know how to administer and score the assessment, CaseNEX is providing a series of online professional development offerings for its PALS users in Wisconsin. CaseNEX offers unique online professional development for educators, using “slices of life” through video and case-based examples. Prior to the fall screening window, teachers will demonstrate proficiency in the administration and scoring of the PALS assessment by completing a set of online tutorials. They will also participate in a variety of online courses from CaseNEX, including, among others, Using Data to Drive Instruction, which will help teachers use assessment data to drive classroom instruction and monitor student progress effectively.

To learn more about PALS in Wisconsin, please visit: www.palswisconsin.info

As a leader in the education technology industry for over 15 years, CaseNEX is now used in all 50 states and consists of two additional divisions: DataCation and PALS Marketplace. CaseNEX offers pioneering case method professional development along with an array of tools to help schools break down complex student data to inform and support instruction.

PALS was developed by Marcia Invernizzi, Ph.D., and colleagues at the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education in response to the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Early Intervention Reading Initiative (EIRI). “Wisconsin is clearly a leader among states seeking to prevent reading problems by implementing universal literacy screening and early interventions,” said Invernizzi, who received University of Virginia’s 2013 Edlich-Henderson Innovator of the Year Award in recognition of the deep and far-reaching impact of her work to improve children’s literacy–the first Education school faculty member ever selected for the prestigious award. Along with Wisconsin, PALS has been the universal screening tool for Virginia public schools for over 15 years and is utilized by schools in all 50 states and in many foreign countries for early identification and intervention. PALS espanol, in development under Invernizzi’s direction through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute for Education Sciences, is expected to set a new standard in literacy assessment for Spanish-speaking children and will be released in the coming year. PALS has also been named to approved lists of reading instruments in many states, including Texas and Colorado. PALS is being provided to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction by CaseNEX in partnership with the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center.

For media inquiries or to schedule an interview, please contact Jenna Guarneri at 212.529.1598 and/or Jenna@SHPNY.com

Contact: Jenna Guarneri
Company: Sarah Hall Productions, Inc.
Phone Number: 212.529.1598
Email: Jenna@SHPNY.com


Source: PR Newswire