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Scholastic Math and Reading Inventory

Loversky 2Reviewer: Tim Loversky

Position: Principal

District/School:  Lakewood School, Community Unit School District #300, Carpentersville, IL

Number of Students in District/School: 19,700/780

Products: Scholastic's Read 180 Next Generation, System 44, Read About, Expert 21, Fastt Math, Fraction Nation, SMI, SRI

Reviewer's Note: We never rely on one piece of data. Along with the data from the SMI and SRI, our teachers use a variety of other resources to know where our students are. But we have found that the data we get is usually right on target.


As a Title I school, Technology helps our students access information, helps them to be creative, SMI Screen_Student2inquisitive, and knowledgeable.  It also helps our students learn to read, and build math skills. The Scholastic Math Inventory (SMI) and Scholastic Reading Inventory (SRI) help our staff and students to understand the progress they are making in math and reading.


A couple of years ago, our staff resisted looking at data; now they are highly involved in the data—they own it. Our district leadership, especially our Superintendent, CFO, CTO and Director of Grants, has been outstandingly supportive in increasing the technological tools that we give to our staff and students. The Board of Education and our community are committed to giving students the technology resources necessary to succeed.

Learning Curve:

SMI and SRI are easy to use. Students hop on computers, logs in, and do the short assessments.  We initially struggled with how we use the data. With some clear guidance from Scholastic, along with some data analysis helped us figure it out. 

How We Use It:

Every student in our school takes the SMI and SRI. If a new student comes in, we use those assessments to place that student in the right intervention class. We also use the data to look at classroom progress, determine growth targets, and differentiate. We even use the SRI Lexile data to help guide students towards choosing books that are at an appropriate level.

Reviewer's Notes: A couple of years ago, our staff resisted looking at data; they tended to rely on “gut instinct”. Today, we still rely on our instincts, but we follow that by “prove it”. The teachers at Lakewood School now are highly involved in the data- they own it! When they talk with me about student achievement, they don’t “think”- they “know”.

For example, teachers know that there are 3 students who have seen little gain in the SRI. They know that they have a group of 5th graders at 490 Quantile and still need work on the basics of understanding fractions. 

What’s Ahead?:

Each year we understand a little more about the SRI and SMI. When we look back at SRI history and at students using Read 180, we see record of  sometimes more than a year’s student growth. We still need to deepen our understanding of the SMI and the Quantile Framework, which is a newer component for us.


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The data gathered from the SRI and the SMI would be so much more useful if we could export reports to an Excel file so that we could disaggregate our own data, in ways that meet our needs more personally.

It's sad that the benefits to learning math and not being afraid of it are.. doing better at math in school. "Math" would seem to be a thing with homework and math problems; it's not particularly connected to anything you do outside of a classroom.
There are all kinds of reasons to figure out math and ratios and the like. I agree that running away from anything requiring actual thought is downright dangerous and is spreading like a nasty virus. Let's recognize math as a real thing, though, not just an arbitrary symbolic rite of passage that slams doors on so many people.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in Best in Tech Today are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Scholastic, Inc.