It made me think about England's context where there are, and have been, many detractors from the statutory Year One Phonics Screening Check which is a word-level assessment. Even the introduction of this simple word check after children should have experienced nearly two years of explicit systematic synthetic phonics provision has caused deep protest from some.
The thing is, this word-level check is really just a starting point - and can only include a certain level of alphabetic code letter/s-sound correspondences and words of a simple to slightly more complex structure. Then many people think this is 'job done' when, in reality, we could do well to introduce further word-level assessments with more challenging content at a later date to get a clearer picture of decoding levels - and decoding levels sustained and developed over time.
Anyway, here is the food for thought on this topic:
The Case for the Narrow View of Reading
Alan G. Kamhi
University of North Carolina–Greensboro
https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/e9ab/a ... d9a68d.pdf