Academic journal article School Psychology Review

Long-Term Diagnostic Accuracy of Curriculum-Based Measures in Reading and Mathematics

Academic journal article School Psychology Review

Long-Term Diagnostic Accuracy of Curriculum-Based Measures in Reading and Mathematics

Article excerpt

Abstract. This study examined the relation between benchmark data and rate of growth across the year for reading, math computation, and math concepts and applications curriculum-based measures, and a statewide and large-scale achievement test. Results showed that reading and math benchmarks were significantly and moderately correlated with performance on both achievement measures 1 and 2 years later. Rate of growth in first-grade reading was significantly and moderately related to third-grade statewide achievement performance, with the relation decreasing to nonsignificance by Grade 3. Math computation growth was also related to performance on the statewide achievement test. Curriculum-based measures provided adequate diagnostic accuracy for screening of performance on statewide and large-scale achievement tests both 1 and 2 years later. These data suggest the importance of early identification of students who are at risk for developing academic problems in reading and math.

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The applications of curriculum-based measurement (CBM) in both the general and special education environments have expanded to include not only assessment for instructional placement (Shapiro, 2004) and progress monitoring (Deno, 1985, Fuchs, Fuchs, Hamlett, Walz, & Germann, 1993), but also screening and eligibility determinations (Fuchs, Deshler, & Reschly, 2004). Extensive research has provided evidence of the solid technical characteristics of CBM (Foegen, Jiban, & Deno, 2007; Good & Jefferson, 1998; McMaster & Espin, 2007; Wayman, Wallace, Wiley, Ticha, & Espin, 2007), and there is a moderate to strong relation between performance on measures of oral reading fluency (ORF) and state achievement tests within the same year (Barger, 2003; Buck & Torgeson, 2003; Good, Simmons, & Kame'enui, 2001; McGlinchey & Hixon, 2004; Shapiro, Keller, Lutz, Edwards, & Hintze, 2006; Roehrig, Petscher, Nettles, Hudson, & Torgeson, 2008; Shaw & Shaw, 2002; Stage & Jacobsen, 2001; Vander Meer, Lentz, & Stollar, 2005). Moreover, CBM cut scores can be established and subsequently used to determine the likelihood of success or failure for a student on the statewide achievement test (Good et al., 2001; Keller & Shapiro, 2005; Stage & Jacobsen, 2001).

The long-term relation between CBM and state achievement tests is equally important. CBM has increasingly been recommended as a metric for conducting universal screening in early literacy development for kindergarten through Grade 2 (Deno, 2003; Elliott, Huai, & Roach, 2007; VanDerHayden, Witt, Nacquin, & Noell, 2001). Statewide achievement tests usually begin at the end of Grade 3, so the correlation of CBM outcomes in early grades to achievement of Grade 3 performance and beyond is increasingly important because of the potential for early identification of students at risk for academic failure.

More important perhaps than the correlation between CBM and subsequent outcomes on statewide achievement tests is the diagnostic accuracy of the CBM measure. Although CBMs may show moderate to strong correlations, the degree to which the CBMs effectively discriminate between successful and nonsuccessful outcomes is critical information for decision making. Educators working within models of response to intervention potentially use CBM data to make instructional and even special education eligibility decisions based in part on the achieved level of performance as reflected by the CBM data compared to the expected benchmarks (Elliott et al., 2007; VanDerHeyden, Witt, & Gilbertson, 2007; Vaughn, Linan-Thompson, & Hickman, 2003). Achieving a full understanding of the degree to which the selected CBM cut scores used to differentiate low-risk from some or at-risk levels aligns with out-comes of statewide as well as other large-scale achievement tests (often the key outcomes for accountability purposes) is clearly very important (Glover & Albers, 2007). …

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