ERIC Number: EJ1166227
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Jan
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Policy and Evidence: A Critical Analysis of the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check in England
Grundin, Hans U.
Literacy, v52 n1 p39-46 Jan 2018
This paper aims to present a critical analysis of the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check (PSC), with special focus on the relationship between the UK Department for Education's policy-making and the evidence considered in the process of developing and evaluating the PSC. The reports from the in-house Standards and Testing Agency and from commissioned external organisations with limited remits have been analysed, with emphasis on how the screening check findings have been used in DfE decision-making. My conclusion is that the department has overestimated both the validity and the reliability of the check: partly because important sources of measurement error have not been explored, and partly because the available evidence has not been analysed in sufficient depth--or perhaps simply been ignored by the department. The whole phonics screening check seems to be the product of policy-based evidence, rather than evidence-based policy-making. This has, in my view, seriously undermined the value of the PSC as a screening instrument, and one must wonder whether it is "fit for purpose."
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Criticism, Screening Tests, Phonics, Educational Policy, Research Reports, Research Utilization, Policy Formation, Decision Making, Inferences, Error of Measurement, Test Validity, Test Reliability, Elementary Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)