People often assume that earlier detection of a learner’s problems is better than later detection. However, this will only be helpful if two conditions are met. First, an intervention known to be effective must be available. Second, receiving the intervention earlier must be more effective than receiving it later.
Also, screening tests can be inaccurate (e.g. misclassifying learners as having a problem when they don’t have it). Inaccurate screening can lead to learners receiving extra interventions they do not need and that may have adverse effects.
BEWARE of claims that earlier detection and response to a problem is necessarily better.
REMEMBER: Do not assume that early detection and response to a problem is worthwhile if it has not been assessed in systematic reviews of fair comparisons comparing learners who have been screened and learners who have not been screened.