The Learning Record

The Learning Record is a powerful assessment process developed first in England for literacy (reading, writing, speaking, listening) for use with low-income children, many of whom had first languages other than English. For years, U.S. work on the LR was led by the Center for Language in Learning, but sadly it has closed its doors.

Fortunately, all the materials to use the LR, K-12 and college, are available on the web at

The LR involves a set of forms teachers use to document and evaluate student progress: the forms help guide the kinds of information to obtain and things to consider in the evaluation process. The LR also includes teacher handbooks to help educators use the LR. And for reading and math, the LR developed scales: teachers can locate students on the scales as one means of identifying student progress. The Records were validated in various ways, as were the scales.

The LR is a process through which students take charge of their own learning and document their learning. It is also a means to more strongly integrate parental involvement into the school.

In addition to the site above, LR background materials are available on the FairTest website and through books from Heinemann publishers (see below).

Materials on the LR are available through three sources - and you likely need to use all three: the FairTest website, the website of the Tiospa Zina Tribal School (see below) and books from Heinemann publishers (see below).

For general background information:

FairTest Examiner articles:

- PLR/CLR as Large-Scale Assessment - (Summer 1995)

- Learning Record Has Promise for Accountability - (Fall 2001)

On the FairTest website:

- A summary: The Learning Record, an Assessment System Plus

- A summary in diagram form: A Hexagon

On the website of the Tiospa Zina Tribal School are several pieces on the background of the LR. [Note: the TZTS has partially taken on the work of the Center for Language in Learning; they are updating those pages, a task that should be completed in February 2005. We recommend you also visit their pages as well as the materials on our website.]

For literacy:
You can obtain from Heinemann Publishers copies of the teachers handbooks for literacy (reading, writing, speaking and listening): Assessing Literacy with the Learning Record, Handbook for Teachers grades K-6, and Handbook for Teachers grades 6-12.

The Recording Form for literacy (the tool for guiding the documentation and evaluation) and Reading and Writing Scales (sequential scales that enable a summary statement of student progress) are available on the FairTest website:

- Literacy recording form - Elementary (has some math)

- Literacy recording form - Secondary (has some math)

- Student self-reporting recording form (has some math)

- Reading Scale 1 (generally, K-3)

- Reading Scale 2 (generally, grades 4-8)

- Reading Scale 3 (generally, grades 9-12)

- Writing Scale 1 (generally, K-3)

- Writing Scale 2 (generally, grades 4-8)

- Writing Scale 3 (generally, grades 9-12)

For math:
The following materials on the math LR are available on the FairTest website:

- LR math component - general explanation

- LR math Recording Form (more detailed than the page incorporated in the literacy form)

- Math scales K-2

- Math scales Grades 3-5

- Math scales Grades 6-8

- Math scales High School

- Math scales - Disposition

The math handbook was not completed for publication, but a near-final draft is available, chapter by chapter, here:

- Introduction

- Ch 1 - Overview

- Ch 2 - Using the Scales (which are on this website)

- Ch 3 - Using the Recording Form (which is on this website)

- Ch 4 - Recording Prior Experience

- Ch 5 - Collecting and Documenting

- Ch 6 - Observing

- Ch 7 - Analyzing

- Ch 8 - Summarizing

- Ch 9 - Reflecting

- Ch 10 - Placement on Scales

- Ch 11 - Moderations

For use in large-scale assessment:

Descriptions of how to use the LR as a larger scale assessment, including "moderation" (rescoring by independent readers) are available on the website of the Tiospa Zina Tribal School. See also the math handbook, Ch 11, moderations.

In addition, FairTest has posted some of the studies of the validity of the use of the LR, including:

- LR Findings on Validity, 2001

- LR High School Report for 2004

- LR Elementary School Report for 2004

LR- reporting form - Elementary_Eng (1).pdf343.92 KB
LR- reporting form - Secondary.pdf334.24 KB
LR- student reporting - student.pdf102.93 KB
LR-Reading_Scale_1.pdf9.96 KB
LR-Reading_Scale_2rev9_03.pdf106.5 KB
LR - Reading_Scale_3.pdf16.85 KB
LR- Writing_Scale_1.pdf12.81 KB
LR - Writing_Scale_2rev9_03.pdf107.39 KB
LR- Writing_Scale_3rev8_00.pdf125.16 KB
Learn Record - Math Gen Expl 5_00.pdf87.65 KB
LR Math - Recording Form.pdf33.29 KB
LR - Math K_2 scales.pdf50.52 KB
LR - Math_3_5 scales.pdf51.66 KB
LR - Math_6_8 scales.pdf52.17 KB
LR - Math_Hi_Sch (1) scales.pdf51.83 KB
LR - Math_Disposition.pdf48.37 KB
LR math handbook Ch 1 - Overview.pdf25.07 KB
LR math handbook Ch 2 - Using the Scales.pdf27.01 KB
LR Math Handbook Ch 3 - Using the Recording Form.pdf15.01 KB
LR math handbook Ch 4 - Recording Prior Experience.pdf28.49 KB
LR math handbook Ch 5 - Collecting, Documenting.pdf18.6 KB
LR math handbook Ch 6 - Observing.pdf37.56 KB
LR math handbook Ch 7 - Analyzing.pdf34.13 KB
LR math handbook Ch 8 - Summarizing.pdf18.81 KB
LR math handbook Ch 9 - Reflecting.pdf12.24 KB
LR math handbook Ch 10 - Placement on Scales.pdf14.9 KB
LR math handbook Ch 11 - Moderations.pdf16.57 KB
LR math handbook Introduction.pdf17.98 KB
LR High School report2004.pdf105.66 KB
LR Elementary school report 2004 [Read-Only].pdf61.09 KB
LR validity 99-01all scores.pdf94.77 KB