YU Launches First-Ever Dynamic Hebrew Literacy Assessment in North America

A research team from the Institute for University-School Partnership, a division of the Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration, has launched MaDYK the first-ever standardized dynamic assessment of early Hebrew literacy. The development and implementation of this assessment tool represents a significant step forward for Jewish education, as it allows educators to identify students who may be struggling with Hebrew reading in the early grades.

MaDYK, which is a Hebrew acronym for Mivchan Dinami shel Y’cholot Kriah [Dynamic Test of Reading Skills], promotes a proactive approach to screening, assessment and intervention for Hebrew reading difficulties, allowing Jewish day schools to move away from approaches that rely solely on remediation.

“Students are tested at minimum three times per year and receive an oral reading fluency score,” explained Elana Weinberger, PhD, research fellow at the Institute. “These scores can assist educators in making decisions about further assessment and intervention needs.”

MaDYK will be implemented in ten pilot schools during the 2010-11 academic year.

“Never before have teachers, administrators and parents been able to compare student performance to national and local norms on a dynamic measure of Hebrew reading,” said Scott J. Goldberg, PhD, director of the Institute and one of MaDYK’s lead developers. “The measure is a product of our strong partnership between schools and the university.”

MaDYK is currently available for use with first and second grade students learning Hebrew in Jewish day schools. Additional measures for kindergarten and the third grade are in development as well. For more information about MaDYK and the Institute for University-School Partnership visit www.yu.edu/schoolpartnership.

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