Note: This is the first in a series about using the Feifer Assessment of Reading (FAR) to find out why students struggle with reading.
Several years ago, when Jacqui Veitch-Richie, a school psychologist in Aiken, South Carolina, wanted to evaluate students for reading disabilities, she cobbled together subtests from a variety of academic instruments to evaluate the things she knew were important to measure, like spelling skills and phonemic awareness.
“I actually put together what I considered a rubric of tests that I was separating out myself,” she explained. “There was no standardization, but I was getting samples of the child’s performance. I tried to pull out those processes separately the best I could.”
When a colleague learned what Veitch-Richie was doing, she suggested using the Feifer Assessment of Reading (FAR) instead.
“She said, ‘that’s pretty much what the FAR does for you. You should take a look at it,’” Veitch-Richie, the District 504 Coordinator, recalled, “and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is so wonderful!’”
Standardized achievement tests, commonly used by school psychologists for initial evaluations, don’t typically offer much beyond a reading score and a rating. And while they may indicate that a student has a problem with reading, they don’t explain why that student struggles—or provide ways to help.
“If all I’m showing is a weakness in reading, that doesn’t generate any kind of conversation,” Veitch-Richie said, “and it doesn’t give me the tools to help it or fix it any way.”
In contrast, the FAR comprehensively deciphers the neurocognitive processes responsible for reading—and measures them within the actual context of reading—to explain why a student may struggle with reading instead of merely reporting the level at which a child can read.
Another benefit of the FAR is its robust interpretive report, available only on PARiConnect. Along with student scores and score interpretation, it generates specific recommendations, based on those scores, along with resources designed to help educators develop their own tailored interventions.
“You have to know what you’re doing with your interventions and your remediation,” stressed Veitch-Ritchie. “I think that is what teachers are missing. What I’m starting to see with the FAR and the interpretive report is there are lots of interventions that we can use.”
Learn more at parinc.com/FAR
We’re happy to welcome a new member to the Feifer family of products. The only remote dyslexia screening tool currently available, the FAR Screening Form Remote is a digital adaptation of our trusted dyslexia screener, designed specifically for testing your students when you’re apart.
Visit the PAR Training Portal for an in-depth demonstration of FAR Screening Form Remote administration, hosted by Dr. Feifer.
To learn more or to order, click here.
It’s time for the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) Annual Convention. This year’s event will take place February 18 to 21 in Baltimore and PAR will be there. If you’re going to NASP, please stop by the PAR booth (#413) to visit us. You can see samples of our products, pick up some giveaways, and enter a raffle to win a BRIEF2 or FAR kit!
While you’re at NASP, make sure to attend some of the many presentations being hosted by PAR authors. For a complete listing of sessions, dates, and times, see our author presentation schedule.
Yet another reason to visit the PAR booth—we will be offering special discounts on all purchases made at our booth during NASP. You’ll save 15% on your order plus we’ll include free ground shipping!
This week’s blog was written by Teri Lyon. Teri is a Senior Technical Support Specialist at PAR. She has been with PAR for more than 20 years. She enjoys punk music and painting.
I like to watch CBS Sunday Morning every weekend. Recently, I watched a segment on the prevalence of dyslexia in the prison population, which immediately caught my attention. Working at PAR and knowing Dr. Steven Feifer, I know how important it is to diagnose dyslexia and other learning disabilities early so a student can achieve his or her full potential. What I did not realize are the numbers behind this issue.
The segment told of a study that shows almost 50% of the prison population in Texas has dyslexia. In addition, approximately 80% of inmates are functionally illiterate. The segment went on to talk about how prisons are addressing this issue with more funding and prison reform. Although these things certainly help people in prison lead better lives, this does not prevent these individuals from ending up there in the first place.
Although this is not a case where you can throw money at a problem, we do know that schools in more affluent communities have higher test scores and graduation rates. While the parents and students may have more resources and may not have concerns like how to study while hungry, you can’t ignore how much better they do. Recently, the thinking on spending in education has changed. Studies show significant long-term gains for students when educational spending increased. The issue is that districts need to determine the best way to use their money.
Currently, the U.S. spends more on prisons than we do on education. California alone spends $53,147 more per year on a prisoner than it does a student. Overall, there are 15 states that spend more than $27,000 a year more per prisoner than they do per student.
Even with the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), there are kids who fall between the cracks of education and into the justice system. It’s clear that this issue is multifaceted and complicated. From starting mandatory schooling at an earlier age, to better training for teachers, there are many ways this issue can be addressed. One thing is clear, though, we have to start somewhere.
I think it’s important to take a step back and realize how PAR instruments can help with greater societal issues. Because this is such an important topic, I immediately sent letters to both my congressman and senator letting them know my thoughts. Hopefully, this will get a very important subject the attention that it deserves.
Last year we posted a blog about our commitment to provide our Customers with additional sources of information about our products through a series of white papers.
Since that time, we’ve released a number of new white papers that are available to you at no cost.
The Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function–Preschool Version (BRIEF-P). This resource helps readers learn about enhanced interpretation of the BRIEF-P, complete with illustrative case samples. You can find the new white paper under the Resources tab on the BRIEF-P page or via this direct link.
The Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI). This white paper provides you with insights into the creation and use of a research repository for the PAI. Customers can find the new white paper under the Resources tab on the PAI page or via this direct link.
The Self-Directed Search (VeteranSDS). This white paper explains how the VeteranSDS report and other tools can be used to assist military veterans transitioning to civilian careers. The new white paper can be found under the Resources tab on the SDS page or via this direct link.
The Feifer Assessment of Reading and the Feifer Assessment of Mathematics (FAR and FAM). This resource will help you learn more about using built-in skills, error, and behavior analyses to assist in the development of more effective reading and math interventions. To see this new white paper, go to the Resources tab on the FAR or FAM page, or use this direct link.
The PDD Behavior Inventory (PDDBI). A new white paper explains the process and rationale behind the release of the Spanish translation of the PDDBI Parent Form. The new white paper can be accessed under the Resources tab on the PDDBI page or via this direct link.
We hope you find that these documents enhance your use of our instruments. Watch for more white papers in the future!
The Feifer Assessment of Reading (FAR) is a comprehensive reading assessment that uses a neurological approach to determine if a student is at risk for specific subtypes of dyslexia. It is useful for educators, reading specialists, and school psychologists not only because it identifies a possible cause of reading difficulties—but also because it offers intervention recommendations based on the student’s specific type of reading difficulty. It truly helps put the individual back in an Individualized Education Program.
The new FAR Interpretive Report takes this individualized approach a step further, using scores from all 16 FAR tasks as well as index scores and index discrepancy scores to provide targeted reading considerations and strategies based on research from more than 200 current reading programs. Don’t spend hours researching reading strategies and intervention tools–we’ve done the work for you! With the click of your mouse, you have the information you need to help your students succeed.
Save even more time by copying and pasting report recommendations directly from the FAR Interpretive Report into other documents.
The FAR Interpretive Report is available only on PARiConnect, our online assessment platform. Not yet connected? Sign up now and get your first three administrations and reports for free!
Learn more about the FAR.