What is Acadience Reading?

Roland H. Good, III, PhD and Ruth A. Kaminski, PhD

Acadience Reading Overview

Acadience Reading is a universal screening and progress monitoring assessment that measures the acquisition of early literacy skills from kindergarten through sixth grade. The assessment is comprised of six brief measures that function as indicators of the essential skills that every child must master to become a proficient reader. These measures are used to regularly monitor the development of early literacy skills in order to provide timely instructional support and prevent the occurrence of later reading difficulties.

By design, the Acadience Reading measures are brief, powerful indicators of foundational early literacy skills that:

  • are quick and efficient to administer and score;
  • serve as universal screening (or benchmark assessment) and progress monitoring measures;
  • identify students in need of intervention support;
  • evaluate the effectiveness of interventions; and
  • support the RtI/Multi-tiered model.

History of Acadience Reading

Acadience™ Reading was previously published under the name DIBELS Next®

Initial research and development of the Acadience Reading measures was conducted in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The Acadience Reading program of research built on the measurement procedures from Curriculum-Based Measurement, or CBM (e.g., Deno & Mirkin, 1977; Deno, 1985; Deno & Fuchs, 1987), and General Outcome Measurement, or GOM (Fuchs & Deno, 1991). The Acadience Reading measures were designed to be economical and efficient indicators of a student’s progress toward achieving a general outcome such as reading or phonemic awareness, and to be used for both benchmark assessment and progress monitoring.

Initial research on these measures focused on examining their technical adequacy for these primary purposes (Good & Kaminski, 1996; Kaminski & Good, 1996). The early versions of the measures authored by Roland Good and Ruth Kaminski were first published under the name DIBELS® in 2002. Since then, the measures have gained widespread use for monitoring progress in acquisition of early literacy skills. Prior to 2002, these measures were made available to research partners. An ongoing program of research over the past three decades has continued to document the reliability and validity of the Acadience Reading measures as well as their sensitivity in measuring changes in student performance over time.

Acadience Reading is the result of an expanding knowledge base in the fields of reading and assessment, continuing research and development, and feedback from users of these assessments. From 2006 to 2010, initial research and field-testing of the Acadience Reading measures occurred in 90 schools across the United States. A series of studies over that time period examined the reliability, validity, and utility of the measures. From 2010 to 2018, the measures underwent continued validation and refinement. See the Acadience Reading Technical Manual for a description of the technical adequacy data on Acadience Reading and a summary of the technical adequacy data on earlier versions of these measures. Additional technical adequacy data are also available on our website under Publications and Presentations.


Download the Acadience Reading Information Sheet for details about the current version of the assessment.

For the Acadience Reading materials and other resources, see the Acadience Reading home page.


Acadience Reading is the culmination of years of work by many individuals concerned with improving reading outcomes for children. Since the initiation of work on the development of a general outcomes measure for students in kindergarten and first grade in 1988, many people have directly or indirectly contributed to the development of Acadience Reading or its forerunners, DIBELS and Curriculum Based Measures of Pre-reading Skills (CBM-P, Kaminski and Good, 1996).

Our work on Acadience Reading is based on previous work on Curriculum-Based Measurement conducted by Dr. Stan Deno and a team of outstanding researchers at the University of Minnesota Institute for Research on Learning Disabilities that was begun in the 1970s and continues today.

From 1996 to 2001, research and development on DIBELS 5th Edition was supported by the Early Childhood Research Institute on Measuring Growth and Development (ECRI-MGD) funded by the U.S. Department of Education. The collaboration and support of Drs. Scott McConnell, Mary McEvoy and colleagues of the University of Minnesota, along with that of Drs. Judy Carta, Charles Greenwood and colleagues of the University of Kansas were critical in the further refinement of our initial measures.

Researchers all over the country have conducted research and contributed substantially to the ongoing development of Acadience Reading and its predecessors.

Thousands of children and their parents, teachers, and school administrators have participated in collecting data on the many iterations of the measures since 1988. This ongoing collaboration has helped ensure that Acadience Reading is a valuable as well as practical tool for educators.