Academic journal article School Psychology Review

Using Curriculum-Based Measurement to Predict Performance on State Assessments in Reading

Academic journal article School Psychology Review

Using Curriculum-Based Measurement to Predict Performance on State Assessments in Reading

Article excerpt

Abstract. The present study investigated the correlation and predictive value of curriculum-based measurement (CBM) procedures for performance on the Michigan Educational Assessment Program's (MEAP) fourth grade reading assessment. A 1-minute oral reading sample was used to predict MEAP performance 2 weeks later. A positive correlation was established between the two measures. The positive and negative predictive power of the reading sample was higher than the base rates of failing and passing the MEAP. This relationship has been demonstrated across 1,362 students during 8 years of MEAP testing. The results support the use of CBM for monitoring reading progress, and establishing which students are at risk for low reading skills and failing state tests.

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Increasing pressures from new initiatives such as charter schools, vouchers, and private schools have established a highly competitive market in which accountability and assessment have become the catch phrase, and the promise. Schools are faced with the challenge of developing assessment practices that are both meaningful to parents and useful as measures of true progress. A good assessment should not only do this, but it should also answer important questions about instruction. Namely, is it working? Does it need to be adjusted? Did the adjustment work? If our assessment only asks the question "Did it work?" it is too late. As a result, the assessment must be sensitive to the effects of instruction and be meaningful to teachers. Curriculum-based measurement (CBM) is a set of specific measurement methods for assessing student progress over time and for identifying students in need of additional instructional support and/or further diagnostic testing (Howell & Nolet, 1999). It provides the framework from which a problem-solving approach to instruction can be established. CBM has been extensively researched (Marston & Magnusson, 1985; Shinn, 1989; Shinn & Good, 1993) and found to be a reliable and valid indicator of student skill level (Deno, Mirkin, & Chiang, 1982; Marston, 1989; Shinn, Good, Knutson, Tilly, & Collins, 1992).

In one of the initial CBM validity studies conducted in reading, Deno, Mirkin, and Chiang (1982) examined five different measures that could be used on a frequent basis to monitor reading progress. Passage reading from the basal reader was one of the progress-monitoring measures studied. These measures were correlated with criterion tests of reading and published norm-referenced tests. Deno and colleagues found that the 1-minute reading probe from the child's basal reader was a valid measure of reading skill. Correlation coefficients ranged from .73 to .91, with most coefficients above .80. A number of other criterion-related validity studies have been conducted since this study. Marston (1989) summarized the results of these studies and found that correlation coefficients between oral reading rates and different measures of global reading skills ranged from .63 to .90, again with most coefficients falling above .80. Other criterion-related validity studies have been conducted comparing reading fluency measures with different basal reading criterion-referenced mastery tests, and teachers' holistic ratings of reading ability (Marston & Deno, 1982 as cited in Marston, 1989). These studies provided additional evidence for the validity of curriculum-based reading measures as estimates of global reading proficiency in the elementary grades. More recent research in the area of CBM validity (see Good & Jefferson, 1998 for a review) continues to provide evidence that oral reading rate is a valid measure of reading ability for elementary students. Construct validity studies have provided additional support of oral reading rate for discriminant and treatment validity (Marston, 1989; Shinn & Habedank, 1992).

Research has also demonstrated CBM's usefulness in identifying children for special education (Marston, Mirkin, & Deno, 1984; Shinn, 1986; Shinn & Habedank, 1992), establishing and monitoring progress toward IEP goals (Fuchs & Shinn, 1989), monitoring progress in remedial programs (Shinn, 1989), and designing instruction (Shapiro, 1996). …

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