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Utilizing decision matrices to validate kindergarten screening measures Peach, Connie J. 1992

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UTILIZING DECISION M A T R I C E S T O V A L I D A T E KINDERGARTEN SCREENING MEASURES by CONNIE J . P E A C H B . A . ( P s y c h . ) , T h e U n i v e r s i t y of British C o l u m b i a ,  1973  A T H E S I S S U B M I T T E D IN P A R T I A L F U L F I L M E N T O F T H E REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF M A S T E R OF A R T S  in THE F A C U L T Y OF G R A D U A T E STUDIES D e p a r t m e n t of E d u c a t i o n a l P s y c h o l o g y and Special Education  W e a c c e p t this t h e s i s as c o n f o r m i n g to the required s t a n d a r d  T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F BRITISH C O L U M B I A August,  1992  ® CONNIE J . P E A C H ,  1992  In  presenting this  degree at the  thesis  in  partial  University of  fulfilment  of  of  department  this thesis for or  by  his  requirements  British Columbia, I agree that the  freely available for reference and study. I further copying  the  her  representatives.  an advanced  Library shall make  it  agree that pemriission for extensive  scholarly purposes may be  or  for  It  is  granted  by the  understood  that  head of copying  my or  publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission.  Department of  - ^9  The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada  Date  DE-6 (2/88)  / . - / ^ ^ ^ / ^  ABSTRACT T h e early i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of s t u d e n t s a t - r i s k for f u t u r e learning p r o b l e m s t y p i c a l l y f o r m s t h e b a s i s for the I m p l e m e n t a t i o n of e a r l y i n t e r v e n t i o n d e s i g n e d t o p r e v e n t , d i m i n i s h , a n d / o r c o r r e c t learning d i f f i c u l t i e s .  programs  Kindergarten  s c r e e n i n g results i n f l u e n c e the a l l o c a t i o n of s p e c i a l s e r v i c e s a n d are linked w i t h t h e e x p e n d i t u r e of m o n e t a r y a n d p e r s o n n e l r e s o u r c e s . T h e e x t e n t t o w h i c h s c r e e n i n g c o n t r i b u t e s to a c c u r a t e a n d u s e f u l e d u c a t i o n a l d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g requires e v a l u a t i o n . T h e p u r p o s e of the p r e s e n t s t u d y w a s t o i n v e s t i g a t e t h e v a l i d i t y a n d utility of  four  kindergarten  screening  measures  and  their  c l a s s i f i c a t i o n a s p r e d i c t o r s of third g r a d e a c h i e v e m e n t .  composite  screening  H i s t o r y of s c h o o l - b a s e d  i n t e r v e n t i o n a n d r e t e n t i o n s t a t u s w e r e c o n s i d e r e d to be a d d i t i o n a l i n d i c e s of s c h o o l p e r f o r m a n c e a n d their r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h k i n d e r g a r t e n s c r e e n i n g results w a s a l s o investigated.  The  screening  measures  included  the  Draw-A-Person, the  K i n d e r g a r t e n L a n g u a g e S c r e e n i n g T e s t , the M a n n - S u i t e r V i s u a l M o t o r S c r e e n , a n d the D e v e r e l l T e s t of L e t t e r s a n d N u m b e r s . T h e a c h i e v e m e n t m e a s u r e e m p l o y e d w a s the C a n a d i a n T e s t s of B a s i c S k i l l s . V a l i d i t y d a t a i n d i c a t i n g the d e g r e e of a c c u r a c y of s c r e e n i n g c l a s s i f i c a t i o n d e c i s i o n s (risk/no-risk) w a s p o s s i b l e t h r o u g h the utilization of d e c i s i o n m a t r i x analysis.  I n t e r p r e t a t i o n s in this s t u d y i n c l u d e d p e r c e n t a g e c a l c u l a t i o n s of t h e  p r o b l e m b a s e r a t e , referral rate, a n d o v e r a l l hit rate. V e r t i c a l e v a l u a t i o n p r e s e n t s p r e d i c t i o n a c c u r a c y in relation to c r i t e r i o n (actual) p e r f o r m a n c e v e r s u s h o r i z o n t a l e v a l u a t i o n w h i c h is c a l c u l a t e d in relation to s c r e e n i n g (predicted) p e r f o r m a n c e .  P r e d i c t i o n - p e r f o r m a n c e m a t r i c e s p r e s e n t e d in this s t u d y r e p r e s e n t d a t a a v a i l a b l e f o r o n e a g e c o l i o r t of 6 8 4 s u b j e c t s e n r o l l e d s i n c e k i n d e r g a r t e n in o n e s c h o o l d i s t r i c t l o c a t e d near V a n c o u v e r , British C o l u m b i a . S e v e n a c h i e v e d s a m p l e s w e r e g e n e r a t e d , the n u m b e r of s u b j e c t s r a n g i n g f r o m 5 7 6 - 6 6 3 . T h e results of this s t u d y d e m o n s t r a t e t h a t s c r e e n i n g referral rates w e r e l e s s t h a n t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e p r o b l e m b a s e r a t e s , i n d i c a t i n g g e n e r a l under-referral of at-risk students.  F o r all a n a l y s e s , v e r t i c a l e v a l u a t i o n m o r e a p p r o p r i a t e l y d e m o n s t r a t e d  greater u n d e r - r e f e r r a l rates t h a n did h o r i z o n t a l e v a l u a t i o n . V e r t i c a l e v a l u a t i o n a l s o c o n t r i b u t e d t o greater a c c u r a c y of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n t h a n did h o r i z o n t a l e v a l u a t i o n w h i c h p r o v e d t o be m i s l e a d i n g .  S p e c i f i c i t y rates (vertically c a l c u l a t e d t r u e  n e g a t i v e s ) w e r e m u c h larger t h a n s e n s i t i v i t y  rates (vertically c a l c u l a t e d t r u e  p o s i t i v e s ) , i n d i c a t i n g far greater a c c u r a c y f o r t h e i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of n o n - r i s k t h a n at-risk s t u d e n t s . O v e r a l l hit rates w e r e h i g h but m i s l e a d i n g a s t h e p r o p o r t i o n s of c o r r e c t l y i d e n t i f i e d at-risk a n d n o n - r i s k s t u d e n t s w e r e n o t i n d i c a t e d .  T A B L E OF C O N T E N T S  ABSTRACT  ii  TABLE OF CONTENTS  iv  LIST O F T A B L E S  vi  LIST O F F I G U R E S  vil  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I.  II.  viii  INTRODUCTION  1  A. B. C. D. E.  1 3 4 5 6  B A C K G R O U N D OF THE PROBLEM RESEARCH CONTEXT S T A T E M E N T OF THE PROBLEM DEFINITION O F T E R M S LIMITATIONS OF THE S T U D Y  REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE A. INTRODUCTION B. E A R L Y IDENTIFICATION O F RISK 1. D e f i n i t i o n of R i s k 2. P r e v a l e n c e of E x c e p t i o n a l C h i l d r e n 3. C o n c e p t a n d P u r p o s e of Early I d e n t i f i c a t i o n 4. Early Identification P r a c t i c e 5. Early I n t e r v e n t i o n Link 6. Issues in Early Identification 7. Summary C. THE SCREENING COMPONENT 1. D e f i n i t i o n a n d P u r p o s e of S c r e e n i n g 2. The Screening Process a. Procedural Considerations b. Screening Approaches c. Screening Content d. Readiness Tests versus Developmental Tests 3. Screening Benefits 4. Screening Concerns a. General Concerns b. Validation Models D. DECISION MATRICES 1. D e s c r i p t i o n a n d Interpretive F o r m u l a s 2. Summary E. SUMMARY  7 7 7 8 11 14 15 17 20 21 22 24 25 25 27 30 Screening 33 34 36 36 37 38 38 42 43  III.  IV.  V.  METHODOLOGY A. INTRODUCTION B. T H E E A R L Y IDENTIFICATION P R O G R A M C. SAMPLE D. INSTRUMENTATION 1. Predictive Measures a. Draw-A-Person b. Kindergarten Language Screening Test c. Mann-Suiter Visual Motor Screen d. T h e D e v e r e l l T e s t of L e t t e r s a n d N u m b e r s 2. Criterion M e a s u r e s E. PROCEDURE FOR D A T A COLLECTION A N D CODING F. DATA ANALYSIS  44 44 44 46 47 48 48 50 53 55 56 58 60  RESULTS A. INTRODUCTION B. ACHIEVED SAMPLES C. RESULTS 1. P r e d i c t i v e A c c u r a c y of Individual K i n d e r g a r t e n S c r e e n i n g Measures a. Draw-A-Person b. Kindergarten Language Screening Test c. Mann-Suiter Visual Motor Screen d. D e v e r e l l T e s t of L e t t e r s a n d N u m b e r s 2. Predictive Accuracy of the Composite Screening Classification a. S c r e e n i n g C o m p o s i t e per C T B S b. S c r e e n i n g C o m p o s i t e per H i s t o r y of I n t e r v e n t i o n . . . c. S c r e e n i n g C o m p o s i t e per R e t e n t i o n S t a t u s 3. S u m m a r y of R e s u l t s D. SUMMARY S U M M A R Y AND CONCLUSIONS A. SUMMARY B. DISCUSSION a. Predictive Accuracy of Individual Measures b. P r e d i c t i v e A c c u r a c y of t h e C o m p o s i t e Classification C. LIMITATIONS OF THE S T U D Y D. IMPLICATIONS A N D CONCLUSIONS E. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FUTURE RESEARCH  REFERENCES  62 62 62 63 64 64 66 68 70 72 72 74 76 78 82 83 83 84  Screening 87 Screening 90 95 96 98 101  LIST OF T A B L E S  T a b l e 1.  N u m b e r of S u b j e c t s in S e v e n A c h i e v e d S a m p l e s  63  Table 2.  K i n d e r g a r t e n S c r e e n i n g : A c c u r a c y of R i s k I d e n t i f i c a t i o n for S c h o o l A c h i e v e m e n t , I n t e r v e n t i o n , a n d R e t e n t i o n Utilizing Decision Matrix A n a l y s i s (Presented as Percentages)  79  Table 3 .  K i n d e r g a r t e n S c r e e n i n g : A c c u r a c y of R i s k Identification for S c h o o l A c h i e v e m e n t , I n t e r v e n t i o n , a n d R e t e n t i o n Utilizing D e c i s i o n M a t r i x A n a l y s i s ( P r e s e n t e d in A b s o l u t e N u m b e r s ) 81  LIST OF FIGURES  Figure 1.  Decision Matrix  39  Figure 2 .  Nunnerical Illustration of D e c i s i o n M a t r i x  41  Figure 3 .  D r a w - A - P e r s o n : A c c u r a c y of R i s k I d e n t i f i c a t i o n per C T B S P e r f o r m a n c e Utilizing D e c i s i o n M a t r i x A n a l y s i s {n = 5 7 6 ) ....  65  Kindergarten Language Screening Test: A c c u r a c y of R i s k I d e n t i f i c a t i o n per C T B S P e r f o r m a n c e U t i l i z i n g D e c i s i o n M a t r i x A n a l y s i s (n = 6 0 1 )  67  Mann-Suiter Visual Motor Screen: A c c u r a c y of R i s k I d e n t i f i c a t i o n per C T B S P e r f o r m a n c e U t i l i z i n g D e c i s i o n M a t r i x A n a l y s i s (n = 5 9 6 )  69  D e v e r e l l T e s t of L e t t e r s a n d N u m b e r s : A c c u r a c y of R i s k I d e n t i f i c a t i o n per C T B S P e r f o r m a n c e U t i l i z i n g D e c i s i o n M a t r i x A n a l y s i s {n = 6 0 6 )  71  Composite Screening Classification: A c c u r a c y of R i s k Identification per C T B S P e r f o r m a n c e Utilizing D e c i s i o n M a t r i x A n a l y s i s {n = 5 9 2 )  73  Composite Screening Classification: Accuracy I d e n t i f i c a t i o n per H i s t o r y of I n t e r v e n t i o n Utilizing M a t r i x A n a l y s i s (n = 6 6 3 )  75  Figure 4 .  Figure 5 .  Figure 6 .  Figure 7 .  Figure 8 .  Figure 9 .  of R i s k Decision  Composite Screening Classification: A c c u r a c y of R i s k Identification per R e t e n t i o n S t a t u s Utilizing D e c i s i o n M a t r i x A n a l y s i s (n = 6 6 3 )  77  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS  I w i s h t o e x p r e s s m y a p p r e c i a t i o n to t h e m a n y p e o p l e w h o h a v e s u p p o r t e d m y e f f o r t s t o c o m p l e t e this d o c u m e n t . I a m t h a n k f u l f o r t h e e n c o u r a g e m e n t g i v e n to m e b y m y f a m i l y m e m b e r s . In p a r t i c u l a r , I a m t h a n k f u l for t h e gifts of p a t i e n c e a n d c o o p e r a t i o n o f f e r e d by m y d a u g h t e r B r o n w e n a n d m y s o n T i m o t h y . I a m g r a t e f u l for the g u i d a n c e o f m y c o m m i t t e e m e m b e r s . Dr. J a c q u e l y n Baker-Sennett  (chair).  Dr.  Don  Allison,  and  Dr.  Suzanne Jacobsen.  My  a c q u a i n t a n c e w i t h S u z a n n e J a c o b s e n is of l o n g e r d u r a t i o n a n d I greatly a d m i r e her professional and personal accomplishments. I a l s o e x t e n d m y gratitude to Dr. J u l i e C o n r y a n d Dr. D a v i d B a t e s o n for their c o n t r i b u t i o n s a n d t o D r . Laurie R i c o u of the F a c u l t y of G r a d u a t e S t u d i e s for his d e f i n i t i v e s u p p o r t a n d r e c o g n i t i o n of m y p e r s i s t e n c e a n d desire t o s u c c e e d . F i n a n c i a l a s s i s t a n c e for a c a d e m i c s t u d y w a s a v a i l a b l e in part t h r o u g h receipt o f t h e R i c k H a n s e n " M a n - l n - M o t i o n " F e l l o w s h i p ( U n i v e r s i t y o f C o l u m b i a ) a n d t h e A l i c e E. W i l s o n G r a n t ( C a n a d i a n F e d e r a t i o n of Women).  the  British  University  I. A.  INTRODUCTION  B A C K G R O U N D OF T H E PROBLEM T h e c o n c e p t of e a r l y i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of s t u d e n t s at risk for p o s s i b l e l e a r n i n g  p r o b l e m s r e p r e s e n t s t h e l o g i c of p r e v e n t i o n a s o p p o s e d t o t h e battle for c u r e (Hobbs, 1975). intervention  Early risk d e t e c t i o n f o r m s t h e b a s i s f o r t h e i m p l e m e n t i o n  programs designed to  prevent,  difficulties ( M c L o u g h l i n & L e w i s , 1 9 8 6 ) .  diminish, and/or correct  of  learning  R e l a t e d b e n e f i t s are r e p o r t e d t o i n c l u d e  r e d u c t i o n in s p e c i a l e d u c a t i o n p l a c e m e n t , g r a d e r e t e n t i o n , a n d s c h o o l d r o p o u t rates (National A s s o c i a t i o n of S c h o o l P s y c h o l o g i s t s [ N A S P ] , 1 9 8 9 ) . D e s p i t e interest in t h e c o n c e p t of e a r l y d e t e c t i o n , S a t z & F l e t c h e r ( 1 9 8 2 ) report t h a t m o s t c h i l d r e n w i t h r e a d i n g a n d learning difficulties are not until t h e a g e of t e n , o f t e n f o l l o w i n g y e a r s of a c a d e m i c failure.  identified  Debate regarding  e d u c a t i o n a l r e f o r m a n d s p e c i a l e d u c a t i o n s e r v i c e d e l i v e r y w o u l d benefit f r o m t h e c o n s i d e r a t i o n of p r e v e n t i o n a s a v i a b l e a l t e r n a t i v e t o c u r r e n t p o s t - f a i l u r e d e l i v e r y models (Pianta, 1990). R e s o u r c e limitations are c u r r e n t l y hard p r e s s e d t o m e e t the i n c r e a s i n g l y d i v e r s e n e e d s of t h e e s t i m a t e d 1 0 - 1 5 % of N o r t h A m e r i c a n s t u d e n t s  presently  served by special education (Council for Exceptional Children, 1 9 9 0 ; Neufeld & Stevens, 1 9 9 2 ; Palfrey, 1981).  A s w e l l , 2 5 % of s t u d e n t s e n t e r i n g s c h o o l m a y  d e m o n s t r a t e s i g n s of d e v e l o p m e n t a l d e v i a n c e f r o m w h i c h l e a r n i n g d i f f i c u l t i e s m i g h t result ( N o r t o n , 1 9 7 9 ) . T o a d d r e s s t h e p r e v a l e n c e of s c h o o l d y s f u n c t i o n a n d failure through the  u s e of p r e v e n t i v e p r a c t i c e m a y p r o v i d e relief for t h e a c a d e m i c .  emotional, social, and monetary c o s t s involved (Mercer, Algozzine & Trifiletti, 1988; Judy, 1986). P r i m a r y p r e v e n t i o n t a r g e t s t h o s e g r o u p s a n d i n d i v i d u a l s not y e t i n d i c a t i n g the e x i s t e n c e of a n y p r o b l e m . T h e p r o c e s s of e a r l y risk i d e n t i f i c a t i o n w o u l d a p p e a r to be o n e of p r i m a r y p r e v e n t i o n . T h e c o n c e p t of " r i s k " requires c l a r i f i c a t i o n . Eaton  (cited  in  Planta,  1990)  referred  to  factors  of  risk  as  those  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h a high p o t e n t i a l for t h e d e v e l o p m e n t of a t a r g e t p r o b l e m , s u c h a s s c h o o l failure.  C u r r e n t d e s c r i p t i o n of e d u c a t i o n a l risk r e f e r s , in  g e n e r a l t e r m s , t o t h o s e s t u d e n t s h a v i n g or likely to h a v e d i f f i c u l t y in s c h o o l .  Risk  is p r o b a b i l i s t i c in nature a n d d o e s not insure p r o b l e m o u t c o m e or i m p l y c a u s a t i o n (Keogh & Becker, 1973).  It d o e s , h o w e v e r , require t h e s e l e c t i o n of a t a r g e t  p r o b l e m t o be identified a n d t h e a t t e n d a n t criteria w h i c h m a y i n d i c a t e risk. In t h e p u b l i c s c h o o l s e t t i n g t h e k i n d e r g a r t e n p o p u l a t i o n has b e e n m o s t e x t e n s i v e l y t a r g e t t e d for e a r l y i d e n t i f i c a t i o n . A c o m p r e h e n s i v e d e t e c t i o n p r o g r a m is c o m p r i s e d o f v a r i o u s s t a g e s , o n e of w h i c h i n v o l v e s the a d m i n i s t r a t i o n screening measures (Cross, 1977).  of  The screening component encompasses a  d e c i s i o n p r o c e s s w h i c h c l a s s i f i e s s t u d e n t s a s either at-risk or n o n - r i s k ( L i c h t e n s t e i n & Ireton, 1 9 8 4 ) .  It s e p a r a t e s t h e p o p u l a t i o n g l o b a l l y for p o s s i b l e referral to t h e  s u b s e q u e n t s t a g e of d i a g n o s t i c a s s e s s m e n t , t h e r e b y p r o v i d i n g a n e c e s s a r y link t o early intervention.  B.  RESEARCH CONTEXT R e s e a r c h e f f o r t s h a v e a t t e m p t e d to d e v e l o p e f f e c t i v e s c r e e n i n g m e t h o d s a n d  to d e t e r m i n e v a l i d p r e d i c t o r s of later s c h o o l p e r f o r m a n c e .  M a n y measures have  b e e n d e v e l o p e d but f e w h a v e b e e n e v a l u a t e d for s a t i s f a c t o r y levels o f and predictive validity  reliability  (Bracken, 1987; G r e e n w o o d , 1 9 8 1 ; J a c o b s e n ,  1990;  L i n d s a y & W e d e l l , 1 9 8 2 ) . R e v i e w s of r e s e a r c h i n d i c a t e l a c k of c o n s i s t e n t e v i d e n c e w i t h r e g a r d t o t h e e f f i c a c y of s c r e e n i n g m e a s u r e s ( L e a c h , 1 9 8 0 ; H o r n & P a c k a r d , 1985).  S u p p o r t for early s c r e e n i n g c o n t i n u e s  but  it  has b e e n a r g u e d  systematic planning must a c c o m p a n y program implementation  and  that  instrument  s e l e c t i o n m u s t be g u i d e d b y a c c e p t a b l e s t a n d a r d s ( M e i s e l s , 1 9 8 4 ; F r a n k e n b u r g , 1977). B e c a u s e the a i m of k i n d e r g a r t e n s c r e e n i n g is t o s e l e c t t h o s e s t u d e n t s w h o are p o t e n t i a l l y predictive  at-risk for later learning p r o b l e m s , v a l i d i t y  efficiency  of  screening  classification  data indicating  decisions  are  the  desirable  (Lichtenstein, 1981). The extent to w h i c h screening contributes to accurate and u s e f u l d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g requires f u r t h e r e v a l u a t i o n . In p a r t i c u l a r , s c r e e n i n g o u t c o m e m a y result in t w o t y p e s of c l a s s i f i c a t i o n errors:  identification  of  risk  for  adequately  functioning  students  and  non-  i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of risk for s t u d e n t s in n e e d ( C l a r k s o n , 1 9 8 9 ) . T h e s e errors r e p r e s e n t i n a c c u r a t e , or f a l s e , p r e d i c t i o n s a s o p p o s e d to a c c u r a t e p r e d i c t i o n s of t r u e risk a n d true n o n - r i s k c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s . T h e traditional coefficients  e x p r e s s i o n of p r e d i c t i v e v a l i d i t y  has been criticized w h e n  in t e r m s  a p p l i e d to t h e v a l i d a t i o n  of of  correlation screening  decisions (Lichtenstein, 1981).  Because correlational analyses  indicate the  s t r e n g t h o f linear r e l a t i o n s h i p s b e t w e e n e a r l y p r e d i c t i o n a n d later p e r f o r m a n c e m e a s u r e s , t h e c o e f f i c i e n t r e p r e s e n t s c o n g r u e n c e of s c o r e s w i t h o u t c l a r i f i c a t i o n of the d e g r e e to w h i c h c l a s s i f i c a t i o n d e c i s i o n s (risk/no-risk) are v a l i d ( S c h u l t e  &  M o o r e , 1 9 8 8 ; W i l s o n & R e i c h m u t h , 1 9 8 5 ) . Estimating the predictive effectiveness and decision validity  o f s c r e e n i n g d e v i c e s s o l e l y o n the  b a s i s of  traditional  c o r r e l a t i o n a l s t a t i s t i c s is t h u s c o n s i d e r e d t e n u o u s . M a n y i n v e s t i g a t o r s h a v e s u g g e s t e d t h a t t e s t v a l i d i t y i n c r e a s e s in utility or p r a c t i c a l i t y w h e n p r e s e n t e d in t e r m s of c l a s s i f i c a t i o n a l hit r a t e s . T h e s e i n d i c a t e the f r e q u e n c y of a c c u r a t e a n d i n a c c u r a t e p r e d i c t i o n s f o l l o w i n g c o m p a r i s o n w i t h later s c h o o l p e r f o r m a n c e ( B a r n e s , 1 9 8 2 ; H a r b e r , 1 9 8 1 a , 1 9 8 1 b ; L i c h t e n s t e i n , 1 9 8 4 ; M e e h l & R o s e n , 1 9 5 5 ; M e i s e l s , 1 9 8 6 ) . P r e d i c t i o n - p e r f o r m a n c e m a t r i c e s are c o m m o n r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s of t h i s m o d e l of e v a l u a t i o n , a l s o k n o w n a s d e c i s i o n matrices.  T h e latter t e r m is i n d i c a t i v e of t h e u n d e r l y i n g i n t e n t i o n of s c r e e n i n g  measures for making efficient and useful educational d e c i s i o n s . M e s s i c k ( 1 9 9 0 ) s u g g e s t s t h a t p r e d i c t i v e utility refers t o the relative b e n e f i t s a n d c o s t s d e r i v e d f r o m utilizing p a r t i c u l a r t e s t s in d e c i s i o n m a k i n g . Errors m a y be d i f f e r e n t i a l l y i m p o r t a n t t o d e c i s i o n m a k e r s in d i f f e r e n t s e t t i n g s .  C.  S T A T E M E N T OF T H E PROBLEM T h e p u r p o s e o f t h e p r e s e n t s t u d y is to i n v e s t i g a t e t h e p r e d i c t i v e v a l i d i t y a n d  utility of f o u r i n d i v i d u a l k i n d e r g a r t e n s c r e e n i n g m e a s u r e s a n d their c o m p o s i t e  s c r e e n i n g s c o r e by d e t e r m i n i n g  t h e a c c u r a c y of t h e  classification decisions  (risk/no-risk) t h r o u g h utilization of d e c i s i o n m a t r i c e s . T h e f o l l o w i n g q u e s t i o n s are a d d r e s s e d : 1.  H o w accurately does each kindergarten screening measure individually p r e d i c t s t u d e n t s at-risk or n o t at-risk for f u t u r e s c h o o l difficulties a s measured by third-grade performance on a standardized achievement test?  2.  H o w accurately does the composite screening classification predict students at-risk o r not at-risk for f u t u r e s c h o o l d i f f i c u l t i e s a s m e a s u r e d b y t h i r d - g r a d e performance on a standardized achievement test?  3.  H o w accurately does the composite screening classification predict students at-risk or not at-risk for f u t u r e s c h o o l difficulties a s i n d i c a t e d b y s c h o o l based remedial intervention during primary grades?  4.  H o w accurately does the composite screening classification predict students at-risk o r not at-risk for f u t u r e s c h o o l difficulties a s i n d i c a t e d b y r e t e n t i o n of o n e o r m o r e y e a r s in a primary g r a d e ?  D.  DEFINITION OF T E R M S T h e d e f i n i t i o n of k e y t e r m s e m p l o y e d in this s t u d y are a s f o l l o w s . Early identification refers t o t h e early s e l e c t i o n of h i g h - r i s k s t u d e n t s w h o  h a v e , or are m o s t likely to d e v e l o p , p r o b l e m s in l e a r n i n g . It p r o v i d e s a n i m p o r t a n t link to e a r l y i n t e r v e n t i o n s e r v i c e . A c o m p r e h e n s i v e i d e n t i f i c a t i o n p r o g r a m t y p i c a l l y i n c l u d e s t h e s t a g e s of c a s e f i n d i n g , s c r e e n i n g , d i a g n o s i s , a n d e v a l u a t i o n . Screening is a brief, l o w - c o s t , s y s t e m a t i c e v a l u a t i o n of a c a d e m i c skills a n d abilities a s s o c i a t e d w i t h s u c c e s s f u l learning in s c h o o l ,  its p u r p o s e is to  identify  s t u d e n t s w h o are at-risk for learning d i f f i c u l t i e s . At-risf( refers t o t h e c l a s s i f i c a t i o n (risk/no-risk) r e s u l t i n g f r o m u n s a t i s f a c t o r y p e r f o r m a n c e o n a k i n d e r g a r t e n s c r e e n i n g m e a s u r e or c o m b i n e d m e a s u r e s .  A  s t u d e n t w h o differs s u f f i c i e n t l y f r o m their p e e r s is c o n s i d e r e d t o be a t - r i s k f o r learning difficulties a n d m a y require i n d i v i d u a l r e m e d i a l i n t e r v e n t i o n . Intervention refers t o i n d i v i d u a l t r e a t m e n t g i v e n o u t s i d e t h e c l a s s r o o m f o r all c o n d i t i o n s ( e g . learning d i s a b i l i t y , s p e e c h a n d l a n g u a g e difficulty) t h o u g h t t o be interfering w i t h a s t u d e n t ' s a d e q u a t e p r o g r e s s in s c h o o l .  In this s t u d y , r e t e n t i o n  in o n e o r m o r e o f t h e p r i m a r y g r a d e s is i n c l u d e d a s o n e i n t e r v e n t i o n .  E.  LIMITATIONS OF T H E S T U D Y T h e f o u r s c r e e n i n g m e a s u r e s e m p l o y e d in t h i s s t u d y w e r e p r e - s e l e c t e d b y  the p u b l i c s c h o o l district i n v o l v e d . T h e c u t - o f f s c o r e s u s e d t o d e f i n e s a t i s f a c t o r y and unsatisfactory performance were also previously designated. T h e measures m a y n o t b e c o n s i d e r e d t o be t h e b e s t p r e d i c t o r s o f risk s t a t u s .  Additionally,  a c a d e m i c o u t c o m e is limited t o t h i r d - g r a d e s t a n d a r d i z e d a c h i e v e m e n t t e s t i n g , history of intervention, and retention status. Effects of intervention, gender, age a n d t h e like a r e n o t c o n t r o l l e d f o r . The  findings  of  this  study  are specific to  Generalizations of interpretations are c a u t i o n e d .  the  population  involved.  II.  A.  REVIEW OF T H E LITERATURE  INTRODUCTION T h e f o l l o w i n g r e v i e w of the literature d e s c r i b e s i s s u e s pertinent to  the  p r a c t i c e o f e a r l y i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of c h i l d r e n c o n s i d e r e d t o be at-risk for e x p e r i e n c i n g learning problems.  Additionally  p r e s e n t e d are d e f i n i t i o n a l ,  t e c h n i c a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n s of s c r e e n i n g .  procedural, and  T h e utilization of d e c i s i o n m a t r i c e s t o  v a l i d a t e t h e p r e d i c t i v e a c c u r a c y of s c r e e n i n g m e a s u r e s is a l s o d i s c u s s e d .  B.  E A R L Y IDENTIFICATION OF RISK P a r e n t s , e d u c a t o r s , p s y c h o l o g i s t s , a n d o t h e r p r o f e s s i o n a l s all s h a r e c o n c e r n  r e g a r d i n g t h e large n u m b e r s of s t u d e n t s not p r o g r e s s i n g w e l l or failing in s c h o o l . To  meet  the  n e e d s of  these children, efforts  to  develop methods  i d e n t i f i c a t i o n in early c h i l d h o o d h a v e b e e n w i d e l y a d o p t e d .  of  risk  S o m e m e a s u r e s are  c o n s i d e r e d t o be m o r e s y s t e m a t i c , c o m p r e h e n s i v e a n d / o r p r e d i c t i v e t h a n o t h e r s . W o l f e n d a l e ( 1 9 8 1 ) n o t e s the o c c u r r e n c e of this m o v e m e n t in t h e U n i t e d K i n g d o m , A u s t r a l i a , E u r o p e , C a n a d a , a n d t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s . T h e p r a c t i c e of risk identification  a s s u m e s the  subsequent  implementation  of  early  treatment  i n t e r v e n t i o n t o alleviate p r e s e n t or f u t u r e difficulties ( M o r g a n , 1 9 8 1 ). T h e v a r i o u s f a c t o r s a n d a s s u m p t i o n s w h i c h underlie s u c h p r e v e n t i v e e f f o r t s i n f l u e n c e t h e d e g r e e to w h i c h risk i d e n t i f i c a t i o n is a p p r o p r i a t e a n d e f f i c i e n t for t h e p o p u l a t i o n involved.  1.  Definition of Risk T l i e d e f i n i t i o n of risk l i a s p r o v e n t o be o n e of c o n f u s i o n a n d c o n t r o v e r s y .  T l i e r o o t s of i d e n t i f i c a t i o n o r i g i n a t e d in t h e field of m e d i c i n e w h e r e c l e a r d e f i n i t i o n of o r g a n i c e t i o l o g i e s is m o r e p o s s i b l e ( K e o g h & B e c k e r , 1 9 7 3 ) .  Risk is i n d i c a t e d  by p r e s y m p t o m a t i c s t a g e s k n o w n to o c c u r b e f o r e p r o b l e m m a t u r a t i o n . T h i s t i m e i n t e r v a l , k n o w n a s lead t i m e , is c o n s i d e r e d to i n c r e a s e t h e p r o s p e c t s for  the  b e n e f i c i a l e f f e c t s of e a r l y i n t e r v e n t i o n . In m e d i c a l c a s e s , risk g e n e r a l l y o c c u r s f o l l o w i n g t h e e x p e r i e n c e of a d v e r s e p h y s i o l o g i c a l or e n v i r o n m e n t a l c o n d i t i o n s w h i c h are k n o w n t o c a u s e or be h i g h l y c o r r e l a t e d w i t h t h e a p p e a r a n c e of f u t u r e a b n o r m a l i t i e s ( P e t e r s o n , 1 9 8 7 ) .  Keogh  & D a l e y ( 1 9 8 3 ) v i e w t h e p r o b a b i l i t y of risk related t o p h y s i o l o g i c a l c o n d i t i o n s t o be far m o r e c e r t a i n t h a n t h a t w h i c h is a s s o c i a t e d w i t h p s y c h o l o g i c a l , s o c i a l , or educational problems.  T h e p r e s e n c e of risk f a c t o r s s e r v e s a s a n early w a r n i n g  s i g n a l a n d n o t a s p r o o f of inevitable d i s o r d e r . T j o s s e m ( 1 9 7 6 ) d e p i c t e d t h r e e c a t e g o r i e s of risk. " E s t a b l i s h e d " risk refers to d i a g n o s e d c o n d i t i o n s , m o s t o f t e n m e d i c a l , w i t h k n o w n e t i o l o g i e s a n d o u t c o m e s . " E n v i r o n m e n t a l " risk d e n o t e s t h o s e b i o l o g i c a l l y s o u n d i n d i v i d u a l s w h o s e  life  s i t u a t i o n s m a y t h r e a t e n their w e l l - b e i n g . " B i o l o g i c a l " risk d e s i g n a t e s t h o s e c h i l d r e n w h o s e early developmental histories s u g g e s t possible problem o u t c o m e s . T h e s e risk c o n d i t i o n s f r e q u e n t l y impairment.  overlap, increasing the  probability  or i n t e n s i t y  of  C h i l d r e n are c o n s i d e r e d t o be at-risk w h e n their s t a t u s d e v i a t e s  s u f f i c i e n t l y f r o m s o m e s t a n d a r d of n o r m a l i t y ( P e t e r s o n , 1 9 8 7 ) . S o c i a l v a l u e s a n d  i n d i v i d u a l p e r s p e c t i v e are highly i n f l u e n c i a l in j u d g i n g w h a t is c o n s i d e r e d to be n o r m a l or d e v i a n t , t h u s c o m p l i c a t i n g t h e i s s u e of risk d e f i n i t i o n . It is a r g u e d t h a t m o d e l s of risk i d e n t i f i c a t i o n d e v e l o p e d for u s e w i t h i n o n e field of s t u d y are n o t n e c e s s a r i l y a p p r o p r i a t e for a n o t h e r ( K e o g h & D a l e y , 1 9 8 3 ) . T h e e x p a n s i o n f r o m health-related t o p s y c h o l o g i c a l a n d e d u c a t i o n a l c o n c e r n s r e v e a l e d m a n y a s s u m p t i o n s of t h e m e d i c a l m o d e l t o be i n c o m p a t i b l e w i t h t h e nature of c h i l d d e v e l o p m e n t ( L i c h t e n s t e i n & Ireton, 1 9 8 4 ) . For e x a m p l e , t h e d e f i c i t o r i e n t a t i o n a s s u m e d in m e d i c i n e d o e s not a l l o w for t h e d e t e c t i o n of b o t h s t r e n g t h s and w e a k n e s s e s of the developing child. W h i l e t h e e t i o l o g i e s of e d u c a t i o n a l p r o b l e m s c a n n o t be a s c l e a r l y e s t a b l i s h e d as p h y s i o l o g i c a l c o n d i t i o n s , t h e o r i e s of h u m a n d e v e l o p m e n t a n d learning d e s c r i b e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h c h i l d r e n w h o h a v e the g r e a t e s t d i f f i c u l t y learning in s c h o o l (Zeitlin, 1 9 7 6 ) . D e s c r i p t i o n of t h e potentially u n s u c c e s s f u l learner o f t e n f o l l o w s f r o m k n o w n c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the s u c c e s s f u l learner. T h e d e v e l o p m e n t a l m o d e l h a s d o m i n a t e d e a r l y c h i l d h o o d literature for m a n y y e a r s ( W e n d t , 1 9 7 8 ) . It e n c o m p a s s e s a s e q u e n t i a l p r o g r e s s i o n of b e h a v i o r s , f r o m s i m p l e t o c o m p l e x , d i s p l a y e d b y m o s t c h i l d r e n o v e r a p e r i o d of t i m e .  According  t o s o m e t h e o r i e s , m a s t e r y of p r o c e e d i n g levels p r e c l u d e s a d v a n c e m e n t a l o n g t h e c o n t i n u u m ( G e s e l l Institute, 1 9 8 3 ) . Initially, m a t u r a t i o n w a s c o n s i d e r e d to be t h e a g e n t of c h a n g e for t h e e m e r g i n g s t a g e s . A m o r e m o d e r n v i e w a l l o w e d for c h a n g e as  a result  of  social and  situational  influences  in t h e  environment.  The  nature-nurture debate w a s modified by interactional theorists w h o a c k n o w l e d g e d a s y n t h e s i s of b o t h internal a n d e x t e r n a l i n f l u e n c e s ( H o b b s , 1 9 7 5 ) .  Sameroff  (1975)  f u r t h e r p o s i t e d a t r a n s a c t i o n a l v i e w w h e r e neither the c h i l d n o r  environment remain a static contributor to development.  the  Rather, each c h a n g e s  a n d is c h a n g e d by t h e o t h e r in a c o n t i n u i n g s e r i e s w h i c h s e r v e s to e m p h a s i z e t h e l o n g - t e r m , inferential c o u r s e of " r i s k " d e v e l o p m e n t a n d its c h a n g i n g  definition  across time (Keogh & Daley, 1983). L e v e l s of d e v e l o p m e n t a l f u n c t i o n i n g identification. in  different  are o f t e n t h e  f o c u s of  early  risk  B e c a u s e c h i l d r e n f u n c t i o n d i f f e r e n t l y at v a r i o u s p o i n t s in t i m e a n d circumstances,  definitions  of  early  i n c o n s i s t e n c i e s ( L i c h t e n s t e i n & Ireton, 1 9 8 4 ) .  risk  should  reflect  In p r a c t i c e , risk o f t e n  s p e c i f i c e d u c a t i o n a l n e e d s rather t h a n d e v e l o p m e n t a l  levels ( B a r n e s ,  these reflects 1982),  A d d i t i o n a l l y , risk m a y reflect t h e s t a n d a r d s of e d u c a t i o n a n d b e h a v i o r c o n s i d e r e d s a t i s f a c t o r y in i n d i v i d u a l s c h o o l s e t t i n g s . P i o n e e r s in t h e field of a c a d e m i c risk i d e n t i f i c a t i o n i n c l u d e J a n s k y a n d d e H i r s c h ( 1 9 7 2 ) , T j o s s e n ( 1 9 7 6 ) , a n d M e r c e r et a l . ( 1 9 8 8 ) .  A t - r i s k s t u d e n t s are  u s u a l l y t h o s e c o n s i d e r e d t o d e v i a t e s i g n i f i c a n t l y f r o m " n o r m a l " r a n g e s (Paget & Nagle, 1986).  R e s e a r c h e r s p r e s e n t a w i d e v a r i e t y of d e s c r i p t i o n s of risk, f o r  e x a m p l e : c h i l d r e n w h o m a y require s p e c i a l e d u c a t i o n a n d related s e r v i c e s if t h e y are t o realize their full h u m a n p o t e n t i a l (Hallahan & K a u f f m a n , 1 9 8 2 ) ; c h i l d r e n w h o demonstrate cognitive delay ( A a r o n s o n , Phillips, Bartolucci, & A a r o n s o n (1978); c h i l d r e n at risk for r e a d i n g difficulties ( G r a y , 1 9 8 8 ) c h i l d r e n u n r e a d y f o r s c h o o l e n t r y ( B i l l m a n , 1 9 8 8 ) ; a n d c h i l d r e n t h o u g h t t o be l e a r n i n g d i s a b l e d (Badian & Serwer, 1975).  A n e v e n b r o a d e r d e s c r i p t i o n of risl< c a n be f o u n d in e d u c a t i o n a l r e s e a r c h literature.  T h i s e n c o m p a s s e s t h o s e s t u d e n t s at risk for d e m o n s t r a t i n g a n inability  t o m e e t a c a d e m i c e x p e c t a t i o n s (Hills, 1 9 8 7 ) a n d f o r e x p e r i e n c i n g mild t o m o d e r a t e learning d i f f i c u l t i e s in their later s c h o o l c a r e e r ( L e a c h , 1 9 8 0 ) . Additionally, an externally derived definition obtained through testing during early identification  of risk results f r o m s c o r e s procedures.  A designated  c u t - o f f p o i n t b e c o m e s t h e d e t e r m i n i n g f a c t o r in risk c l a s s i f i c a t i o n , a t e c h n i c a l d e f i n i t i o n alterable b y s i m p l y raising o r l o w e r i n g t h e c u t - o f f s c o r e ( B a d i a n , 1 9 8 6 ; Eaves, Kendall & Crichton, 1 9 7 4 ; Stone, Cundick, & S w a n s o n , 1988). Raising the c u t - o f f s c o r e of a t e s t u s e d t o p r e d i c t risk w o u l d i n c r e a s e the n u m b e r of s t u d e n t s c o n s i d e r e d to be at-risk ( M e s s i c k , 1 9 9 0 ) . 2.  Prevalence of Exceptional Children P r e v a l e n c e e s t i m a t e s v a r y a c c o r d i n g to t h e s p e c i f i c criteria u s e d to d e f i n e  exceptionality.  C l a s s i f i c a t i o n a l f e a t u r e s , s p e c i f i c i t y of f o c u s , a n d d e g r e e  of  i m p a i r m e n t m a y be influential in t h e d e t e r m i n a t i o n of n u m b e r s . E s t i m a t e s m a y a l s o be a f f e c t e d b y t h e p o p u l a t i o n a n d a g e - l e v e l to be t a r g e t t e d . R e p o r t i n g for t h e C a n a d i a n C o u n c i l for E x c e p t i o n a l C h i l d r e n , N e u f e l d  &  S t e v e n s ( 1 9 9 2 ) s t a t e t h a t 1 0 - 1 5 % of t h e t o t a l s c h o o l p o p u l a t i o n are e s t i m a t e d t o fall u n d e r t h e s p e c i a l e d u c a t i o n u m b r e l l a . approximately  Satz and Fletcher (1982) indicate that  1 0 - 1 5 % of N o r t h A m e r i c a n s c h o o l c h i l d r e n of at least a v e r a g e  i n t e l l i g e n c e s u f f e r a c a d e m i c h a n d i c a p s . N o r t o n ( 1 9 7 9 ) a n d Zeitlin ( 1 9 7 6 ) that  an  estimated  25%  of  children  at  s c h o o l entry  may  report  display signs  d e v e l o p m e n t a l d e v i a t i o n s w h i c h c o u l d lead t o l e a r n i n g p r o b l e m s .  of  R o g o l s k y , in  1 9 6 8 , s u g g e s t e d t h a t 4 0 % w o u l d e v i d e n c e p r o b l e m s w i t h learning or a d j u s t m e n t in the p r i m a r y y e a r s . T h e U n i t e d S t a t e s D e p a r t m e n t of E d u c a t i o n c i t e s 1 9 8 5 f i g u r e s d e s c r i b i n g p e r c e n t a g e s of s t u d e n t s a g e d 3 t h r o u g h 21 a c t u a l l y r e c e i v i n g s p e c i a l e d u c a t i o n s e r v i c e s f o r d i f f e r e n t h a n d i c a p p i n g c o n d i t i o n s (Lerner, M a r d e l l - C z u d n o w s k i & Goldenburg, 1987).  T h e m o s t f r e q u e n t l y r e p o r t e d ( 4 . 5 7 % of 1 0 . 8 9 % total)  r e p r e s e n t s t h e c a t e g o r y of learning d i s a b i l i t i e s . A n e s t i m a t e of 1 2 % of A m e r i c a n s c h o o l c h i l d r e n e x p e r i e n c e m e n t a l , e m o t i o n a l or p h y s i c a l i m p a i r m e n t s w h i c h p r o v e p r o b l e m a t i c to s u c c e s s f u l s c h o o l f u n c t i o n i n g ( B r e w e r & K a k a l i k , 1 9 7 9 ; P i a n t a , 1990). Gray (1988)  refers to t h e  Early C h i l d h o o d A s s e s s m e n t P r o j e c t at  the  U n i v e r s i t y of M i n n e s o t a w h i c h r e v e a l e d t r e m e n d o u s v a r i a b i l i t y b e t w e e n s c h o o l d i s t r i c t s in t h e p e r c e n t a g e s of c h i l d r e n identified a s h a v i n g a c a d e m i c p r o b l e m s . Within specific s c h o o l populations, W i l s o n and Reichmuth ( 1985) conclude that the p r o p o r t i o n of p r o b l e m l e a r n e r s , or p r o b l e m b a s e rate, m a y f l u c t u a t e d r a m a t i c a l l y d e p e n d i n g u p o n district c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s a n d t h e criteria e m p l o y e d for i d e n t i f i c a t i o n . A b a s e rate o f 3 t o 5 % , for e x a m p l e , m i g h t a p p r o p r i a t e l y d e f i n e learning disabled third-graders. problems.  T e n to 2 0 % m i g h t d e f i n e t h i r d - g r a d e r s w i t h  reading  In c o m p a r i s o n , 2 5 % of pupils in t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s in 1 9 6 9  were  r e p o r t e d t o h a v e s i g n i f i c a n t r e a d i n g d e f i c i e n c i e s (Zeitlin, 1 9 7 6 ) . A p u b l i c a t i o n o f the M i n i s t r y of E d u c a t i o n for the p r o v i n c e of British C o l u m b i a i n d i c a t e s t h a t up t o 2 0 % of s t u d e n t s in f o u r t h , s e v e n t h , a n d t e n t h g r a d e s are r e a d i n g at l e v e l s w h i c h s u g g e s t t h a t c u r r i c u l u m g o a l s are not b e i n g m e t ( E d u c a t i o n a l I n n o v a t i o n D i v i s i o n ,  B. C . M i n i s t r y of E d u c a t i o n , 1 9 8 9 ) . A n a t i o n a l s u r v e y o n adult literacy c o n d u c t e d in 1 9 8 9 b y S t a t i s t i c s C a n d a d a ( 1 9 9 1 ) r e v e a l e d t h a t o n l y 6 9 % of B . C . a d u l t s a n d 6 2 % of C a n a d i a n a d u l t s a g e d 1 6 - 6 9 h a v e s u f f i c i e n t r e a d i n g skills to d e a l w i t h most everyday requirements. A s a c c u r a t e b a s e rate f i g u r e s are t y p i c a l l y u n a v a i l a b l e , B a r n e s ( 1 9 8 2 ) h a s s u g g e s t e d the i m p l e m e n t a t i o n of r e g i o n a l a n d l o c a l p r o g r a m s t h a t w o u l d f o l l o w children's progress over several years from the screening.  point of early  identification  S u c h programs w o u l d provide normative information on the number  a n d t y p e s of difficulties t h a t c h i l d r e n e x p e r i e n c e . T h e p r o g r a m s c o u l d a l s o p r o v e u s e f u l for e v a l u a t i n g t h e l o n g - t e r m a c c u r a c y of particular s c r e e n i n g m e a s u r e s or programs. T h e e n f o r c e m e n t of Bill 8 2 in the p r o v i n c e of O n t a r i o required t h a t s c h o o l d i s t r i c t s i d e n t i f y high-risk s t u d e n t s in k i n d e r g a r t e n ( W a n c z y c k i , 1 9 8 3 ) . W h i l e t h e r e is no s i m i l a r m a n d a t e w i t h i n t h e p r o v i n c e o f British C o l u m b i a , interest in e a r l y identification  exists.  C u r r e n t l y , b o t h p r o g r a m d e s i g n a n d e x p e n s e are  the  r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of t h e i n d i v i d u a l d i s t r i c t s i n v o l v e d . E a r l y i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of e x c e p t i o n a l i t i e s is a l s o in a c c o r d a n c e w i t h U . S . P u b l i c L a w 9 9 - 4 5 7 ( 1 9 8 6 ) w h i c h m a k e s p r o v i s i o n for early i n t e r v e n t i o n s e r v i c e s for h a n d i c a p p e d i n f a n t s a n d t o d d l e r s a s w e l l a s m o r e c o m p r e h e n s i v e s e r v i c e s for t h o s e a g e d 3 - 5 (Lerner et a l . , 1 9 8 7 ) . O f i m m e n s e i m p a c t in the U n i t e d S t a t e s , the e n a c t m e n t of P u b l i c L a w 9 4 - 1 4 2 ( 1 9 7 5 ) r e q u i r e d t h a t all h a n d i c a p p e d p e r s o n s a g e d 3-21 ( w i t h c e r t a i n s t a t e r e s t r i c t i o n s ) r e c e i v e free p u b l i c e d u c a t i o n at a level c o m m e n s u r a t e w i t h their  i n d i v i d u a l n e e d s a n d in the least r e s t r i c t i v e s e t t i n g a v a i l a b l e . It s p e c i f i e d t h a t e a c h state  nnay n o t  handicapped.  count This  more  count  than  12%  is, therefore,  of  children aged influential  5 through  in t h e  17  as  development  of  i d e n t i f i c a t i o n criteria a n d c u t - o f f s c o r e s w h i c h m a y be arbitrarily i n c r e a s e d o r d e c r e a s e d in o r d e r t o attain required n u m b e r s rather t h a n t o d e t e c t t h e a c t u a l n u m b e r s of h a n d i c a p p e d learners ( S a l v i a & Y s s e l d y k e , 1 9 7 8 ) . 3.  C o n c e p t a n d P u r p o s e of Early Identification T h e majority of e d u c a t i o n a l s y s t e m s h a v e b e e n r e a c t i v e in n a t u r e , t y p i c a l l y  i m p l e m e n t i n g e v a l u a t i v e , r e m e d i a l or c o m p e n s a t o r y p r a c t i c e s after p r o b l e m s h a v e s u r f a c e d ( R e y n o l d s , G u t k i n , Elliott, & W i t t , 1 9 8 4 ) . R a t h e r t h a n s e e k i n g p r o a c t i v e or p r e v e n t i v e i n t e r v e n t i o n at t h e p r o b l e m s o u r c e a n d b e f o r e t h e point of c o n c e r n , s c h o o l p e r s o n n e l f r e q u e n t l y r e a c t w h e n s t u d e n t failure has b e c o m e e v i d e n t or e v e n critical. D e s p i t e t h e reality of this p r a c t i c e , it is g e n e r a l l y a c c e p t e d t h a t e a r l y p r o b l e m d e t e c t i o n i n c r e a s e s t h e liklihood of p r e v e n t i o n , c o r r e c t i o n , or d i m i n i s h m e n t  of  problem impact w h e n appropriate early treatment  is i m p l e m e n t e d ( M c l o u g h l i n ,  1988).  the  C o m m e n c i n g in the  United  States  in  1960s  and  expanding  i n t e r n a t i o n a l l y , c o n s i d e r a b l e effort h a s b e e n e x p e n d e d o n t h e d e v e l o p m e n t a n d a p p l i c a t i o n of e a r l y i d e n t i f i c a t i o n p r o c e d u r e s ( L i n d s a y & W e d e l l , 1 9 8 2 ) .  Although  v a r y i n g in c o n t e n t a n d s p e c i f i c intent, their c o m m o n p u r p o s e h a s b e e n t o d e t e c t i n d i v i d u a l c h i l d r e n w h o are likely t o e x p e r i e n c e learning d i f f i c u l t y a n d to a t t e m p t p r e v e n t i o n of s c h o o l failure a n d a n y a t t e n d a n t n e g a t i v e e f f e c t s ( L e a c h , 1 9 8 0 ) .  L i n k e d w i t h t h e c o n c e p t of p r e v e n t i o n , e a r l y s e l e c t i o n of high-risk s t u d e n t s is e s s e n t i a l l y a p r e d i c t i v e a c t i v i t y , m a k i n g i n f e r e n c e f r o m the p r e s e n t to t h e f u t u r e . Keogh &  Becker (1973)  confirming.  d e s c r i b e this a c t i v i t y  a s h y p o t h e s i z i n g rather  than  T h e g o a l is not to a s c r i b e c a u s a t i o n , but to a t t e m p t a c c u r a c y in  identification.  A s s i g n i n g risk c l a s s i f i c a t i o n is t y p i c a l l y a d i c h o t o m o u s p r o c e s s  i n d i c a t i n g either t h e p r e s e n c e or a b s e n c e o f risk.  Berk (1984), Harber ( 1 9 8 1 a ,  1 9 8 1 b) a n d L i c h t e n s t e i n ( 1 9 8 1 ) s t r e s s the c o n c e p t of d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g i n h e r e n t in the c l a s s i f i c a t i o n m e t h o d a n d the utility of s e r v i c e d e c i s i o n s resulting f r o m  the  a c h i e v e d level of c l a s s i f i c a t i o n a c c u r a c y . S c h o o l s y s t e m s are f a c e d w i t h t h e e x t r a o r d i n a r y t a s k of d i s t i n g u i s h i n g e a r l y o n in t i m e t h o s e c h i l d r e n w h o h a v e , or are m o s t likely t o d e v e l o p , p r o b l e m s in l e a r n i n g . B e h a v i o r a n d / o r o t h e r p r o b l e m s w h i c h m i g h t hinder c o g n i t i v e , s o c i a l , or e m o t i o n a l d e v e l o p m e n t are a l s o of c o n c e r n . T h e p r a c t i c e of early i d e n t i f i c a t i o n p l a y s a n i m p o r t a n t role in i m p r o v i n g s e r v i c e t o c h i l d r e n in n e e d . E f f e c t i v e e f f o r t s encompass  a s e r i e s of  components  which  comprise  a sound  program  of  identification. 4.  Early Identification Practice L a c k of c o n s i s t e n t t e r m i n o l o g y is a s o u r c e o f c o n f u s i o n in the p r o c e s s of  early  identification.  Peterson (1987)  notes  the  non-standardized  use  and  interpretation o f w o r d s s u c h a s a s s e s s m e n t , s c r e e n i n g , e v a l u a t i o n , i d e n t i f i c a t i o n , and diagnosis.  S u c h terminology  is o f t e n  indiscriminantly  applied, without  c l a r i f i c a t i o n , a n d w i t h r e f e r e n c e t o different c o n c e p t s . T h e v a l u e o f d i s c u s s i o n a n d c o m p a r i s o n of results m a y also be threatened a n d p o s s i b l y misleading or detrimental.  T o a d d r e s s t h i s i s s u e . C r o s s ( 1 9 7 7 ) p r e s e n t e d a n o v e r v i e w of p r o c e d u r e s considered  integral  identification.  to  a  comprehensive  and  sequential  system  of  early  T h e y i n c l u d e t h e s t a g e s of c a s e f i n d i n g , s c r e e n i n g , d i a g n o s i s , a n d  p r o g r a m e v a l u a t i o n . A p p l i c a b l e to e d u c a t i o n a l a n d o t h e r g o a l s , t h e s e p r o c e d u r e s g e n e r a l l y c o n c u r w i t h t h o s e of o t h e r e x p e r t s in t h e field ( P a g e t & N a g l e , 1 9 8 6 ; Boehm & Sandberg, 1 9 8 2 ; Barnes, 1982). Casefinding  is d e s c r i b e d a s t h e  p r o c e s s of  accessing candidates  p a r t i c i p a t i o n in t h e s u b s e q u e n t s t a g e s of i d e n t i f i c a t i o n . objectives influence the activities involved.  for  Specific populations and  Infant a n d p r e s c h o o l a g e - g r o u p s  require o u t r e a c h e f f o r t s , w h i l e k i n d e r g a r t e n c h i l d r e n , for e x a m p l e , are readily l o c a t e d in the s c h o o l s e t t i n g . Screening refers t o t h e brief s t r a t e g i e s or m e a s u r e m e n t a c t i v i t i e s u s e d t o i d e n t i f y c h i l d r e n w h o fall o u t s i d e t h e n o r m a l range of e x p e c t e d d e v e l o p m e n t a n d are t h u s c o n s i d e r e d at risk for a s p e c i f i e d p r o b l e m . the terms  C o n f u s i o n m a y result w h e n  " s c r e e n i n g " a n d " i d e n t i f i c a t i o n " are u s e d i n t e r c h a n g e a b l y .  t e c h n i c a l l y refers t o t h e entire p r o c e s s of early i d e n t i f i c a t i o n .  T h e latter  S c r e e n i n g is o n e  c o m p o n e n t of t h e i d e n t i f i c a t i o n p r o c e s s a n d m u s t be v i e w e d s e p a r a t e l y w i t h i n this larger f r a m e w o r k , p a r t i c u l a r l y for interpretive a n d e v a l u a t i v e p u r p o s e s . S c r e e n i n g y i e l d s o n l y g e n e r a l i n f o r m a t i o n i n t e n d e d to v e r i f y w h e t h e r a c h i l d s h o u l d p r o c e e d for further diagnostic evaluation. Diagnosis d e t e r m i n e s the e x i s t e n c e , nature a n d e x t e n t of a p r o b l e m t h r o u g h i n - d e p t h a n a l y s i s a n d s y n t h e s i s of c o l l e c t e d d a t a a n d i n f o r m a t i o n .  It m a y a l s o be  referred t o a s d i a g n o s t i c e v a l u a t i o n , d i a g n o s t i c a s s e s s m e n t , or s i m p l y a s s e s s m e n t (NASP, 1989). Included in P e t e r s o n ' s ( 1 9 8 7 ) p r o c e s s m o d e l is a n " e d u c a t i o n a l a s s e s s m e n t " stage w h i c h follows diagnosis.  T h e p u r p o s e of e d u c a t i o n a l a s s e s s e m e n t is t o  d e t e r m i n e w h i c h s p e c i f i c i n s t r u c t i o n a l p r o g r a m s s h o u l d be o f f e r e d . T h i s c o i n c i d e s with the  general expectation  that  identification  is i n t e r v e n t i o n - f o c u s e d  and  i m p l e m e n t e d o n l y if c o u p l e d w i t h s e r v i c e s for c h i l d r e n in n e e d (Paget & N a g l e , 1986). Program evaluation is t h e o n g o i n g a p p r a i s a l of a c h i l d ' s p r o g r e s s w i t h i n t h e intervention  program.  In P e t e r s o n ' s m o d e l , t h i s  activity  " p e r f o r m a n c e m o n i t o r i n g " s t a g e , f o l l o w e d by a p r o g r a m  is e q u a t e d to  the  evaluation phase w h i c h  refers t o t h e a s s e s s m e n t of t h e i n t e r v e n t i o n p r o g r a m itself.  Program evaluation  c a n a l s o refer t o a s s e s s m e n t o f t h e entire e a r l y i d e n t i f i c a t i o n p r o c e s s . C l e a r l y , d e f i n i t i o n of t e r m s m u s t be e s t a b l i s h e d for m e a n i n g f u l d i s c u s s i o n . Early i d e n t i f i c a t i o n is a c o m p r e h e n s i v e p r o c e s s . S t a g e s are not i s o l a t e d e v e n t s , nor d o t h e y t h e m s e l v e s c o n s i s t of s i n g l e e v e n t s .  A s w e l l , a p r o g r a m of early  i d e n t i f i c a t i o n is c o n s i d e r e d w i t h o u t p u r p o s e if n o t c o m p l e m e n t e d b y t h e p r a c t i c e of e a r l y a n d efficient i n t e r v e n t i o n ( S a l v i a & Y s s e l d y k e , 1 9 7 8 ) . 5.  Early Intervention Link C o n s i d e r a b l e d e b a t e a n d e m o t i o n a l i n v e s t m e n t h a s s u r r o u n d e d t h e t o p i c of  e a r l y i n t e r v e n t i o n , a s e v i d e n c e d by t h e p u b l i c a t i o n of t h o u s a n d s of a r t i c l e s a n d hundreds of empirical studies (White,  1985-86).  T h e rationale f o r t h e  early  e d u c a t i o n o f h a n d i c a p p e d , at-risk, or d i s a d v a n t a g e d c h i l d r e n h a s d e r i v e d f r o m  sources which  include theory,  research, expert opinion, and societal values  (Mcloughlin, 1988). S e v e r a l p r o m i n e n t developnnental p s y c h o l o g i s t s are c i t e d a s influential in t h i s m o v e m e n t (Bloom, 1 9 6 4 ; Kirk, 1 9 5 8 ; Skeels, 1966). A landmark s u m m a r y of s t u d i e s b y H u n t ( 1 9 6 1 ) c h a l l e n g e d t h e c o n c e p t of p r e d e t e r m i n e d d e v e l o p m e n t a n d fixed intelligence.  H u n t f u r t h e r i n t r o d u c e d A m e r i c a to t h e i n t e r a c t i o n i s t t h e o r i e s  of P i a g e t a n d H e b b , a t t e s t i n g t o t h e e f f e c t of e n v i r o n m e n t a l i n f l u e n c e s a n d p r o v i d i n g a t h e o r e t i c a l rationale for e a r l y i n t e r v e n t i o n . H e c o n c l u d e s t h a t t h e " w a i t a n d s e e " a p p r o a c h p o p u l a r in earlier y e a r s w a s h i g h l y u n f o r t u n a t e . T h e r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n t h e e a r l y y e a r s of life a n d later g r o w t h a n d l e a r n i n g is w i d e l y r e c o g n i z e d . Early p r e v e n t i v e i n t e r v e n t i o n a s s u m e s t h a t the d e v e l o p m e n t a n d b e h a v i o r o f y o u n g c h i l d r e n is m o r e s u s c e p t i b l e to c h a n g e t h a n the b e h a v i o r of older c h i l d r e n ( B u s h & W a u g h , 1 9 8 2 ; G u r a l n i c k & B e n n e t t , 1 9 8 7 ; H a y d e n , 1 9 7 4 ) . W h i l e d e v e l o p m e n t a l m i l e s t o n e s n o r m a l l y o c c u r , t h e p r e s e n c e of c r i t i c a l p e r i o d s for o p t i m a l r e s p o n s e t o l e a r n i n g e x p e r i e n c e s h a s b e e n s u g g e s t e d ( B l o o m , 1 9 6 4 ; E r i c k s o n , 1 9 6 3 ; W h i t e , 1 9 7 5 ) . E n r i c h m e n t a n d s p e c i a l e d u c a t i o n in e a r l y y e a r s is considered powerful and appropriate (Hayden & M c G i n n e s s , 1977).  Further,  p r o p o n e n t s of t h e life s p a n p o s i t i o n a c k n o w d e d g e t h e i m p o r t a n c e of e a r l y l e a r n i n g , but  maintain that adequate stimulation  and educational opportunities  remain  c o n t i n u a l l y i m p o r t a n t in later c h i l d h o o d y e a r s ( C l a r k e & C l a r k e , 1 9 7 7 ; H o r o w i t z , 1980). Although White, Bush, & Casto (1985-86)  indicate almost  unanimous  support for increased early intervention services and strong a d v o c a c y from experts  and practitioners, critics liave posed concerns regarding the established value of early i n t e r v e n t i o n p r o g r a m s .  It is a r g u e d t h a t o t h e r e d u c a t i o n a l s e r v i c e s are o f  higher priority; t h a t d a t a r e g a r d i n g e f f e c t i v e n e s s are i n c o n c l u s i v e ; t h a t t h e r e is i n s u f f i c i e n t e v i d e n c e t h a t e a r l y rather t h a n later i n t e r v e n t i o n is m o r e e f f e c t i v e ; a n d t h a t it r e p r e s e n t s a " b a b y - s i t t i n g " s e r v i c e for c h i l d r e n w i t h a q u e s t i o n a b l e c a p a c i t y to learn ( M c l o u g h l i n , 1 9 8 8 ) . T h e q u e s t i o n of i n t e r v e n t i o n e f f i c a c y , initially o n e of a c a d e m i c a n d r e s e a r c h o r i e n t a t i o n , n o w entails f i n a n c i a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n ( R e y n o l d s , E g a n , & L e r n e r , 1 9 8 3 ) . C o m p e t i t i o n f o r m o n e t a r y r e s o u r c e s a n d t h e d e m a n d for a c c o u n t a b i l i t y  require  e v i d e n c e o f s u c c e s s in t e r m s of c h i l d p r o g r e s s a n d o v e r a l l p r o g r a m e f f e c t i v e n e s s . W h i t e ( 1 9 8 5 - 8 6 ) s u g g e s t s t h a t r e s e a r c h c o n d u c t e d to a c h i e v e s u c h political rather t h a n s c i e n t i f i c g o a l s a f f e c t s the e s t i m a t i o n of i n t e r v e n t i o n e f f i c a c y , a s i g n i f i c a n t i s s u e influential in p o l i c y d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g . R e y n o l d s et a l . ( 1 9 8 3 ) report t h a t s t u d i e s of s p e c i f i c i n t e r v e n t i o n v a r i a b l e s are f e w in c o m p a r i s o n to l o n g - t e r m s t u d i e s of p r o g r a m e f f e c t i v e n e s s . W h i t e , B u s h a n d C a s t o ( 1 9 8 5 ) identify a n u m b e r of m e d i a t i n g v a r i a b l e s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h e a r l y i n t e r v e n t i o n e f f e c t i v e n e s s w h i c h require m o r e s p e c i f i c s t u d y to a s c e r t a i n their t r u e v a l u e for d i f f e r i n g p o p u l a t i o n s .  E x a m p l e s of m e d i a t i n g v a r i a b l e s i n c l u d e a g e at  start of i n t e r v e n t i o n , d u r a t i o n a n d i n t e n s i t y , d e g r e e of s t r u c t u r e , a n d p a r e n t a l involvement.  C a s t o and Mastropieri (1986) express concern that many reviews  h a v e d r a w n c o n c l u s i o n s f r o m a limited n u m b e r of s t u d i e s a n d h a v e g e n e r a l i z e d e f f i c a c y d a t a f r o m d i s a d v a n t a g e d a n d at-risk p o p u l a t i o n s t o m a k e a b o u t all h a n d i c a p p e d c h i l d r e n .  statements  Additionally, Barnett & Paget (1988) note that  e v a l u a t i o n s t u d i e s o f t e n p r e s e n t d e s c r i p t i o n s of i n t e r v e n t i o n s w h i c h l a c k the d e t a i l n e c e s s a r y for r e s e a r c h r e p l i c a t i o n . Despite these difficulties,  it  is g e n e r a l l y c o n c l u d e d t h a t q u a l i t y  early  i n t e r v e n t i o n p r o g r a m s are e f f e c t i v e . N A S P ( 1 9 8 9 ) i n d i c a t e s t h a t p o s s i b l e b e n e f i t s include improvement  in s c h o o l p e r f o r m a n c e , d e c r e a s e d g r a d e retention  and  d r o p o u t , less n e e d for s p e c i a l e d u c a t i o n c l a s s e s , a n d d e c r e a s e d e m o t i o n a l c o s t for the c h i l d a n d f a m i l y .  In a d d i t i o n , l o n g - t e r m a n d c o s t - e f f e c t i v e benefits t o s o c i e t y  i n c l u d e rate r e d u c t i o n s in u n e m p l o y m e n t , w e l f a r e , a n d c r i m e . In  summary,  successful programming  for  young  exceptional  children  n e c e s s i t a t e s t h a t a p p r o p r i a t e e a r l y i n t e r v e n t i o n be p r e c e e d e d b y a c c u r a t e e a r l y i d e n t i f i c a t i o n p r a c t i c e . A n u m b e r of f a c t o r s e x i s t w h i c h m a y i n f l u e n c e t h e l e v e l of s u c c e s s a t t a i n e d in t h e i d e n t i f i c a t i o n p r o c e s s . 6.  Issues in Early Identification M a n y p r o g r a m s a n d t e c h n i q u e s i n t e n d e d t o i d e n t i f y s t u d e n t s b e f o r e rather  t h a n at t h e t i m e of failure a s s u m e k n o w l e d g e of t h e p r o b l e m c o n d i t i o n a n d its underlying etiology (Meisels, 1984).  T h i s is not a s realistic for  e x c e p t i o n a l i t i e s w h e r e e x a c t k n o w l e d g e of p r e c u r s o r s is u n c e r t a i n .  educational Individual  c o n t i n u i t y a n d level of early d e v e l o p m e n t is d i f f i c u l t to a s c e r t a i n , p a r t i c u l a r l y in light of d e v e l o p m e n t a l u n p r e d i c t a b i l i t y a n d s h o r t - t e r m v a r i a b i l i t y ( L i c h t e n s t e i n & Ireton, 1 9 8 4 ) . In a d d i t i o n , d e v e l o p m e n t a l d i f f i c u l t i e s in c e r t a i n a r e a s are m o r e relevant to s c h o o l performance than others. T h e p r e s e n c e o f f a c t o r s i n d i c a t i v e of risk s e r v e s o n l y to i n c r e a s e the p r o b a b i l i t y of, but d o e s not c o n f i r m , t h e e x i s t e n c e of a f u t u r e p r o b l e m . P r e d i c t i o n  is not a n e x a c t s c i e n c e a n d furtfier limitations are i m p o s e d w h e n a t t e m p t s  are  m a d e t o i d e n t i f y y o u n g c h i l d r e n w h o m a y be at-risk for later s c h o o l d i f f i c u l t y e v e n before those children have actually been e x p o s e d to formal schooling (Keogh, 1977). The decision context generally d i c h o t o m o u s .  within w h i c h early detection  o f risk o p e r a t e s is  Errors of i n c l u s i o n or e x c l u s i o n are m o r e likely to o c c u r  w h e n u s i n g m e t h o d s w h i c h rely u p o n i n f e r e n c e ( W i l s o n & R e i c h m u t h , 1 9 8 5 ) a n d negative  effects  can  result  from  misclassification.  Children  who  require  i n t e r v e n t i o n m a y be e x c l u d e d w h i l e o t h e r s w h o h a v e no n e e d for t r e a t m e n t m a y be i n c l u d e d . Appropriate identification  measurement  selection  p r o g r a m a l s o i n f l u e n c e s the  reflecting  the  purpose  of  level of a c c u r a c y a t t a i n e d  the  in  the  e v a l u a t i o n p r o c e s s ( C r o s s , 1 9 7 7 ) . T e c h n i c a l a d e q u a c y is a n i s s u e pertinent to a n y a p p l i c a t i o n of m e a s u r e m e n t , y e t e m p i r i c a l r e s e a r c h s e l d o m a c c o m p a n i e s t h e application  of  Misinterpretation  early can  identification further  instruments  hinder  the  (Lindsay  development  & of  Wedell,  1982).  appropriate  early  i n t e r v e n t i o n a n d t h e r e b y a f f e c t the w e l l - b e i n g of the c h i l d . 7.  Summary S u p p o r t for t h e c o n c e p t a n d p r a c t i c e of early i d e n t i f i c a t i o n r e m a i n s v i g o r o u s  d e s p i t e t h e o r e t i c a l a n d p r o c e d u r a l c o n c e r n s . G u i d e l i n e s for g a t h e r i n g i n f o r m a t i o n r e g a r d i n g e x c e p t i o n a l s t u d e n t s e n c o u r a g e s pertinent r e s e a r c h , r e s p o n s i b l e p o l i c y decisions, service improvement,  a n d p r o t e c t i o n of t h e d u e p r o c e s s rights  students and parents (McLoughlin & L e w i s , 1986).  School systems  of  provide  convenient  a c c e s s to  i m p l e m e n t a t i o n of  the  the  vast  majority of  children, thus  e a r l y risk i d e n t i f i c a t i o n p r o g r a m s .  enabling  the  The screening procedure  a l l o w s i n f o r m a t i o n t o be g a t h e r e d for e a c h s t u d e n t .  C.  T H E SCREENING  COMPONENT  P r o v i s i o n a l l e g i s l a t i o n , litigation, a n d c o n c e r n s r e g a r d i n g the n e e d f o r u p d a t e d s t a n d a r d s in p r o f e s s i o n a l p r a c t i c e h a v e i n c r e a s e d d e m a n d s r e g a r d i n g a s s e s s m e n t , a n d t h e r e b y early i d e n t i f i c a t i o n d e m a n d s , m a d e b y e d u c a t i o n a l p o l i c y - m a k e r s a n d a d m i n i s t r a t i v e p e r s o n n e l (Strichart & L a z a r u s , 1 9 8 6 ) . M a n y s c h o o l d i s t r i c t s h a v e implemented early detection programs w h i c h target the kindergarten population, t h u s fulfilling c a s e f i n d i n g r e q u i r e m e n t s w i t h i n t h e i d e n t i f i c a t i o n p r o c e s s . T h e s u b s e q u e n t s c r e e n i n g s t a g e a t t e m p t s to s e l e c t e d u c a t i o n a l l y a t - r i s k students.  N a t i o n a l , r e g i o n a l , a n d l o c a l i n c o n s i s t e n c y in s c r e e n i n g p r o g r a m s h a s  p r o v o k e d m u c h c o n t r o v e r s y , p a r t i c u l a r l y w i t h regard t o i s s u e s of a n d u s e f u l interpretation  instrumentation  ( B r a c k e n , 1 9 8 2 ; G r a c e y et a l . , 1 9 8 4 ) .  Screening  e n d e a v o u r s h a v e p r o m p t e d a p r o l i f e r a t i o n of e a r l y d e t e c t i o n d e v i c e s ( R e y n o l d s et al., 1984).  Zeitlin ( 1 9 7 6 ) r e p o r t e d s i x t e e n y e a r s a g o t h e e x i s t e n c e o f o v e r o n e  thousand screening and diagnostic instruments.  Since that time, n e w measures  h a v e a p p e a r e d o n a regular b a s i s . A n e f f e c t i v e s c r e e n i n g p r o g r a m requires s y s t e m a t i c p l a n n i n g to i n c r e a s e t h e a c c u r a c y o f results a n d to a l l o w for q u a l i t y i n t e r p r e t a t i o n a n d d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g (Lichtenstein  &  Ireton,  1984).  S c r e e n i n g is e s s e n t i a l l y a d e c i s i o n p r o c e s s  s i g n i f y i n g w l i i c l i s t u d e n t s d o or d o n o t require furtlier a s s e s s m e n t .  Decision  o u t c o m e s m a y truly identify at-risk (test positive) a n d non-risk (test n e g a t i v e ) status,  but  may  also prove to  be f a l s e for  e a c h of  these classifications.  C o n s e q u e n t l y , there are t w o t y p e s o f errors p o s s i b l e (Miller a n d S p r o n g , 1 9 8 6 ) . U n d e r - i d e n t i f i c a t i o n r e f l e c t s t h e failure to d e t e c t s t u d e n t s w h o m a y i n d e e d require i n t e r v e n t i o n s e r v i c e s (a f a l s e n e g a t i v e c l a s s i f i c a t i o n ) . O v e r - i d e n t i f i c a t i o n r e p r e s e n t s the failure to e x c l u d e a d e q u a t e l y f u n c t i o n i n g s t u d e n t s w h o m a y u n n e c e s s a r i l y r e c e i v e f u r t h e r d i a g n o s i s a n d i n t e r v e n t i o n (a f a l s e p o s i t i v e c l a s s i f i c a t i o n ) .  Both  s i t u a t i o n s m a y require w a s t e f u l m o n e t a r y e x p e n d i t u r e a n d c a u s e n e e d l e s s a n x i e t y for t h e c h i l d , the f a m i l y , a n d t h e e d u c a t o r .  Best professional practice w o u l d  a t t e m p t t o r e d u c e t h e p r o p o r t i o n of error i n v o l v e d in t h e s e f a l s e p r e d i c t i o n s . P r e d i c t i o n is rarely p e r f e c t for a n y s i t u a t i o n a n d is ideally e v a l u a t e d a g a i n s t a c t u a l f u t u r e p e r f o r m a n c e t o help a s c e r t a i n its level of v a l i d i t y .  M e t h o d s of  v a l i d a t i o n c a n elicit n u m e r i c a l l y i m p r e s s i v e i n d i c a t i o n s of s e l e c t i o n a c c u r a c y , but m o r e p e r t i n e n t d i s c u s s i o n m i g h t a d d r e s s t h e p r o p o r t i o n s of i n a c c u r a c y . T h e utility of a s c r e e n i n g i n s t r u m e n t rests u p o n its ability to p r e d i c t not o n l y m a x i m u m l e v e l s of c o r r e c t c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s , but a l s o m i n i m u m l e v e l s of i n c o r r e c t c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s . S a t z a n d F l e t c h e r ( 1 9 8 2 ) s u g g e s t t h a t it is u l t i m a t e l y a q u e s t i o n of w h i c h error t y p e c o n s t i t u t e s t h e m o r e s e r i o u s risk. W h i l e the screening process involves many activities, the specific sources of i n f o r m a t i o n r e g a r d i n g s t u d e n t p e r f o r m a n c e f o r m t h e b a s i s f r o m w h i c h initial i n d i v i d u a l p l a n n i n g d e c i s i o n s are m a d e ( W i l s o n & R e i c h m u t h , 1 9 8 5 ) . It is e s s e n t i a l t h a t t h e a c c u r a c y of s e l e c t e d m e a s u r e s be c r i t i c a l l y e x a m i n e d w i t h i n t h e c o n t e x t  of c l a s s i f i c a t i o n a n d i n t e r v e n t i o n d e c i s i o n s . In line w i t h t h e p r e s e n t i n v e s t i g a t i o n , S a t z & F l e t c h e r ( 1 9 8 2 ) a r g u e t h a t the s c r e e n i n g p o l i c y d e c i s i o n s of e d u c a t i o n a l a d m i n i s t r a t o r s are b e s t s e r v e d by d e m o n s t r a t i o n o f t h e utility of a p r e d i c t i v e measure. 1.  Definition and Purpose of Screening K i n d e r g a r t e n s c r e e n i n g is a brief, l o w - c o s t e v a l u a t i v e p r o c e d u r e u s e d w i t h  large g r o u p s of c h i l d r e n . S c r e e n i n g m e a s u r e s are t y p i c a l l y a d m i n i s t e r e d t o g r o u p s rather t h a n t o i n d i v i d u a l s . T h e p u r p o s e is to i d e n t i f y t h o s e s t u d e n t s c o n s i d e r e d t o be at-risk for l e a r n i n g difficulties w h o m a y require s p e c i a l s e r v i c e s to aid their development  (Barnes, 1 9 8 2 ; Palfrey, 1981).  Within  t h e early  identification  p r o c e s s , s c r e e n i n g s e r v e s a s a referral a g e n t p r e l i m i n a r y t o d i a g n o s t i c a s s e s s m e n t (Bagnato & N e i s w o r t h , 1 9 8 7 ) . a  component  of  It is n o t justifiable a s a s i n g l e e v e n t , but rather a s  a comprehensive  system  which  ultimately  provides  early  i n t e r v e n t i o n for t h o s e in n e e d ( S h i p m a n , 1 9 8 1 ) . S c r e e n i n g c o n t e n t i s , by d e f i n i t i o n , brief a n d r e s u l t s are inferential in n a t u r e . P o t e n t i a l m i s u s e a s a d i a g n o s t i c i n d i c a t o r is t h e r e f o r e c a u t i o n e d .  G r a c e y et a l .  ( 1 9 8 4 ) report r e s u l t s o f a national s u r v e y of e d u c a t i o n a l s c r e e n i n g p r a c t i c e w h i c h i n d i c a t e t h e m i s u s e of s c r e e n i n g i n f o r m a t i o n in t h e d i a g n o s i s of learning disabilities a n d in t h e d i r e c t a s s i g n m e n t of r e m e d i a l p r o g r a m m i n g .  Placement decisions,  exclusion f r o m s c h o o l entry and/or programs, retention, or transitional kindergarten r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s are not to be m a d e f r o m s c r e e n i n g r e s u l t s or " r e a d i n e s s " t e s t i n g (Gredler, 1 9 9 0 ; S c h u l t z , 1 9 8 9 ; T u c k e r , 1 9 8 9 ) . unacceptable practice.  S u c h t r e n d s are c o n s i d e r e d  2.  The Screening Process A viable screening program comprises objectives and methods that address  l o c a l c o n c e r n s a n d are d e v e l o p e d w i t h r e f e r e n c e t o g e n e r a l l y a c c e p t e d p l a n n i n g and implementation procedures (Cross, 1977).  L i c h t e n s t e i n & Ireton  (1984)  s u g g e s t t h a t c l e a r c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n of t h e e s s e n t i a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s ( w h o a n d w h y ) a l l o w for c l a r i f i c a t i o n of o p e r a t i o n a l d e t a i l s ( w h a t , w h e n , w h e r e , a n d h o w ) . a.  Procedural  Considerations  It is c r i t i c a l t o s e l e c t a s c r e e n i n g a p p r o a c h a n d s p e c i f i c i n s t r u m e n t s t h a t w i l l p r o v i d e t h e g r e a t e s t a m o u n t of r e l e v a n t i n f o r m a t i o n .  W h e n considering both  approach and instrumentation. Cross (1977) and Frankenburg (1977) suggest that t h r e e i m p o r t a n t criteria are a c c u r a c y , b r e v i t y , a n d s i m p l i c i t y . A d d i t i o n a l l y , F r a n k e n b u r g ( 1 9 7 7 ) s u g g e s t s t h a t t h e criteria of i n t e r v e n t i o n a n d t h e a v a i l a b i l i t y o f d i a g n o s t i c s e r v i c e s are a l s o i m p o r t a n t c o n s i d e r a t i o n s . treats  cost  benefits  separately,  recommending  that  financial, facility,  He and  m a n p o w e r r e s o u r c e s be d i s t r i b u t e d in a m a n n e r t h a t y i e l d s t h e g r e a t e s t b e n e f i t for the cost involved.  IVIonetary c o s t s f o r s c r e e n i n g m a y i n c l u d e t h o s e a s s o c i a t e d  w i t h t e s t m a t e r i a l s , m a i n t e n a n c e , p e r s o n n e l , t r a i n i n g , t e s t a d m i n i s t r a t i o n , release t i m e , c o r r e s p o n d e n c e , a n d r e c o r d - k e e p i n g (Lerner et a l . , 1 9 8 7 ) .  In c o m b i n a t i o n  with further diagnosis and possible intervention c o s t s , monetary expenditure must p r o v e t o be r e a s o n a b l e w h e n c o m p a r e d w i t h t h e b e n e f i t s d e r i v e d for t h e c h i l d a n d for the s c h o o l d i s t r i c t . S c r e e n i n g a p p r o a c h e s m a y i n c l u d e parent a n d t e a c h e r r e p o r t s a s w e l l as formal test administration.  The N A S P manual (1989)  separates the  criteria  i n v o l v e d in the s e l e c t i o n of a n a p p r o a c h f r o m t h o s e i n v o l v e d in the s e l e c t i o n o f specific testing population,  instruments.  A p p r o a c h considerations include specificity  purpose,  personnel,  stringent  standards  finances,  r e s o u r c e s , facility,  and  of  parental  involvement. While  for  tests  do  exist,  other  factors  i n s t r u m e n t s e l e c t i o n for s c r e e n i n g p u r p o s e s a n d a l t e r n a t e a p p r o a c h e s . c o n n e c t i o n b e t w e e n district objectives and the d e v i c e is r e q u i r e d .  influence A relevant  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of t h e s c r e e n i n g  P u r p o s e is r e g a r d e d a s a c r i t i c a l f a c t o r . For e x a m p l e , w h e n  s c r e e n i n g f o r later r e a d i n g p r o b l e m s , t h e i n s t r u m e n t s h o u l d s t r e s s related b e h a v i o r . S t a n d a r d i z a t i o n s h o u l d i n c l u d e a n o r m a t i v e p o p u l a t i o n t h a t m a t c h e s the t a r g e t p o p u l a t i o n , w i t h p a r t i c u l a r a t t e n t i o n g i v e n to e t h n i c i t y , s o c i o e c o n o m i c s t a t u s , a n d age.  Reliability a n d v a l i d i t y levels m u s t be a d e q u a t e .  W i t h regard to  brevity,  B o e h m & S a n d b u r g ( 1 9 8 2 ) s u g g e s t a limit of 1 5 t o 2 0 m i n u t e s for a d m i n i s t r a t i o n a n d L e r n e r et a l . ( 1 9 8 7 ) e m p h a s i z e t h a t i n s t r u m e n t s be s e l e c t e d r e l e v a n t to t h e s h o r t e r a t t e n t i o n s p a n of y o u n g c h i l d r e n . P e r s o n n e l r e q u i r e m e n t s v a r y r e g a r d i n g training l e v e l , t h o u g h k n o w l e d g e of y o u n g c h i l d r e n a n d t h e ability t o  facilitate  o p t i m u m p e r f o r m a n c e is e s s e n t i a l . O t h e r f a c t o r s t o be c o n s i d e r e d are s i m p l i c i t y , c o s t , a p p e a l for c h i l d r e n , a n d credibility for p a r e n t s . In a d d i t i o n t o t h e s e l e c t i o n of a p r o b l e m c o n d i t i o n a n d s c r e e n i n g a p p r o a c h , p r o c e d u r a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n s i n c l u d e r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s for a m o d e l t h a t  reflects  o n g o i n g s c r e e n i n g in e a r l y c h i l d h o o d ( B a r n e s , 1 9 8 2 ; G r a c e y et a l . , 1 9 8 4 ; S h i p m a n , 1981).  G i v e n t h e r a n g e of individual d i f f e r e n c e s in d e v e l o p m e n t  within any one age group  at a n y o n e t i m e ,  represented  repeated screening allows  for  i n d i c a t i o n s of d e v e l o p m e n t a l s h i f t s a c r o s s t i m e a n d permits notation o f c h a n g e in risk s t a t u s .  M o r g a n ( 1 9 8 1 ) a l s o s u p p o r t s s e n s i t i v i t y to c h a n g e o v e r t i m e  and  n o t e s t h e n e c e s s i t y for t i m e p a s s a g e w h e n t e a c h e r o b s e r v a t i o n s are e m p l o y e d . S c r e e n i n g d u r i n g the first t w o or t h r e e w e e k s o f s c h o o l is t h u s c a u t i o n e d . K e o g h ( 1 9 7 7 ) f u r t h e r m a i n t a i n s t h a t i n f o r m a t i o n s h o u l d be g a t h e r e d o n at l e a s t  two  s e p a r a t e o c c a s i o n s in o r d e r t o r e d u c e i n a c c u r a t e i d e n t i f i c a t i o n s . M e r c e r et a l . ( 1 9 8 8 ) n o t e t h a t k i n d e r g a r t e n s c r e e n i n g in t h e s p r i n g m a y s e e m m o r e a d v a n t a g e o u s t h a n in the fall d u e t o t h e s c h o o l e x p e r i e n c e g a i n e d a n d the i n c r e a s e d p o s s i b i l i t y for t e a c h e r o b s e r v a t i o n .  A d m i n i s t r a t i o n in D e c e m b e r ,  h o w e v e r , i m p r o v e s e a r l y i n t e r v e n t i o n p o s s i b i l i t i e s . T i m i n g of s c r e e n i n g a p p e a r s t o reflect d i f f e r e n t t h e o r e t i c a l beliefs t h a t v i e w s c r e e n i n g c o n t e n t a s i n d i c a t i v e o f d e v e l o p m e n t a l abilities or of skills c o r r e s p o n d i n g t o a c a d e m i c c u r r i c u l u m  and  objectives. E f f i c i e n t d o c u m e n t a t i o n is a l s o c o n s i d e r e d e s s e n t i a l t o p r o p e r s c r e e n i n g p r a c t i c e ( L i c h t e n s t e i n & Ireton,  1984).  C o m p r e h e n s i v e r e c o r d i n g of  s u b s e q u e n t r e f e r r a l s , a n d f o l l o w - u p s e r v i c e is c r i t i c a l t o t h e  results,  e v a l u a t i o n of t h e  s c r e e n i n g p r o g r a m . E v a l u a t i o n of the o v e r a l l e a r l y i d e n t i f i c a t i o n p r o g r a m , s t u d e n t p r o g r e s s d u r i n g or f o l l o w i n g program component  i n t e r v e n t i o n , or t h e s p e c i f i c c o n t e n t w i t h i n e a c h  (eg. t h e s e l e c t e d s c r e e n i n g a p p r o a c h ) b e c o m e s p o s s i b l e  (Bagnato & N e i s w o r t h , 1987). b.  Screening  Approaclies  S c h o o l d i s t r i c t s m a y c h o o s e f r o m a v a r i e t y of s c r e e n i n g i n f o r m a t i o n s o u r c e s . The  most  typical  are p a r e n t  reports,  teacher observations, and  data-based  s t a n d a r d i z e d t e s t s (Barnett  & Paget, 1988).  N A S P (1989)  reports t h a t  any  p r o c e d u r e w h i c h identifies a c h i l d a s p o s s i b l y h a v i n g s p e c i a l learning n e e d s is a f o r m of s c r e e n i n g . E a c h a p p r o a c h has a d v a n t a g e s a n d d i s a d v a n t a g e s w h i c h m u s t a d d r e s s t h e criteria p r e s e n t e d a b o v e a n d the g o a l s of t h e d i s t r i c t . P a r e n t reporting a s s u m e s a n intimate k n o w l e d g e of t h e c h i l d a n d p r o v i d e s a d i r e c t , s u p p o r t i v e link to i n t e r v e n t i o n ( N A S P , 1 9 8 9 ) .  It requires a c c u r a c y of  o b s e r v a t i o n , recall a n d c o m m u n i c a t i o n w h i c h is t h o u g h t b y s o m e to be a f f e c t e d by e m o t i o n a l bias ( B a r n e s , 1 9 8 2 ; Z e i t l i n , 1 9 7 6 ) .  Paget & Nagle (1986)  view  p a r e n t a l i n v o l v e m e n t a s a n e s s e n t i a l s o u r c e of k n o w l e d g e r e p r e s e n t i n g a b r o a d range of t i m e a n d c i r c u m s t a n c e s . T h e y report a g e n e r a l t r e n d in r e s e a r c h r e s u l t s w h i c h demonstrates parent-professional agreement.  P a r e n t i n f o r m a t i o n m a y be  a t t a i n e d t h r o u g h i n t e r v i e w s , q u e s t i o n n a i r e s , c h e c k l i s t s , or s t a n d a r d i z e d i n v e n t o r i e s ( L i c h t e n s t e i n & Ireton, 1 9 8 4 ) . T h e u s e of s y s t e m a t i c o b s e r v a t i o n by t e a c h e r s (ratings, c h e c k l i s t s , or q u e s t i o n n a i r e s ) a s a m e a n s of k i n d e r g a r t e n s c r e e n i n g h a s b e e n r e p o r t e d t o be m o r e e c o n o m i c a l and as effective as formal testing (Dykstra, 1 9 6 7 ; F e s h b a c h , A d e l m a n , & Fuller, 1 9 7 4 ; H a r i n g & R i d g w a y , 1 9 6 7 ; N o v a c k , B o n a v e n t u r a & M e r e n d a , 1973).  T e a c h e r o b s e r v a t i o n s h a v e the a d v a n t a g e o f o c c u r r i n g w i t h i n t h e s a m e  environment  in w h i c h  learning t a k e s  place and  recognizes the  strength  of  k n o w l e d g e g a i n e d t h r o u g h familiarity w i t h i n d i v i d u a l s t u d e n t s . A l l o w i n g s u f f i c i e n t t i m e t o i n s u r e f a m i l i a r i t y , h o w e v e r , h a s r e c e i v e d c r i t i c i s m r e g a r d i n g the s u b s e q u e n t d e l a y in t r e a t m e n t i n t e r v e n t i o n .  S a t z a n d F l e t c h e r ( 1 9 8 2 ) n o t e t h a t Insufficient r e s e a r c h h a s o c c u r r e d t o s u p p o r t t h e c l a i m t h a t p r e d i c t i o n s d e r i v e d f r o m t e a c h e r o b s e r v a t i o n s are e q u a l l y or m o r e v a l i d t h a n p s y c h o m e t r i c t e s t i n g .  It is s u g g e s t e d t h a t w h i l e t e a c h e r s  a p p e a r t o a c c u r a t e l y p r e d i c t high-risk s t u d e n t s , t h e y m a y d o s o by i n c l u d i n g o n l y the m o r e o b v i o u s c a s e s , t h e r e b y e x c l u d i n g o t h e r s t u d e n t s in n e e d . T h i s t e n d e n c y m a y be related to a fear of m i s l a b e l i n g (Satz & Friel, 1 9 7 8 ) .  A l s o , w h i l e the b e s t  a n d m o s t e x p e r i e n c e d t e a c h e r s m a y be able t o s e l e c t t h e at-risk s t u d e n t , n e w a n d i n e x p e r i e n c e d t e a c h e r s m i g h t require m o r e o b j e c t i v e m e a s u r e s (Butler,  1979).  D e s p i t e t h e a p p a r e n t a d v a n t a g e s of t e a c h e r o b s e r v a t i o n s , L i c h t e n s t e i n a n d Ireton ( 1 9 8 4 ) c i t e the a r g u m e n t b y M e e h l ( 1 9 5 4 ) t h a t c o n s i s t e n t interpretation of v a l i d s t a n d a r d i z e d t e s t i n g i n s t r u m e n t s m a y p r o v e m o r e p r e d i c t i v e t h a n the s u b j e c t i v e judgement of teachers. P a r e n t a n d t e a c h e r o b s e r v a t i o n s are i n d i r e c t , s u b j e c t i v e m e a s u r e s of a child's performance. comparing  individual  (norm-referenced)  F o r m a l , standardized tests provide an objective basis for student  performance  against  that  of  a  norm  or a g a i n s t p e r s o n a l m a s t e r y of d e f i n e d skills or  group  behaviors  (criterion-referenced) ( P e t e r s o n , 1 9 8 7 ) . P r o c e d u r a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n s for t h e s e l e c t i o n of s c r e e n i n g i n s t r u m e n t s h a v e b e e n a d d r e s s e d earlier in t h i s c h a p t e r .  R e g a r d l e s s of t h e s i t u a t i o n in w h i c h it is  used, a screening instrument must exhibit technical a d e q u a c y through acceptable l e v e l s o f reliability a n d v a l i d i t y .  A s s c r e e n i n g m e a s u r e s a t t e m p t to p r e d i c t w h i c h  s t u d e n t s w i l l e x p e r i e n c e f u t u r e learning d i f f i c u l t i e s , e v a l u a t i o n of their p r e d i c t i v e v a l i d i t y is m o s t pertinent t o e s t a b l i s h i n g their d e g r e e of e f f i c i e n c y a n d u s e f u l n e s s  ( L e w i s , 1 9 8 0 ) . Laclc o f e v a l u a t i o n or c o n f l i c t i n g e v i d e n c e in t h i s regard is n o t a b l e ( L i n d s a y & W e d e l l , 1 9 8 2 ) . P r e s e n t d a y c o n c e r n s a d d r e s s t h e a d e q u a c y of v a r i o u s v a l i d a t i o n m o d e l s u s e d in t h e e v a l u a t i o n of s c r e e n i n g d e c i s i o n s ( L i c h t e n s t e i n & Ireton, 1 9 8 4 ; M e r c e r et a l . , 1 9 8 8 ; S c h u l t e , 1 9 8 8 ; W i l s o n & R e i c h m u t h , 1 9 8 5 ) . Research has attempted to discover those variables w h i c h best predict future difficulties in s t u d e n t p e r f o r m a n c e .  Initially, f o c u s i n g u p o n s i n g l e v a r i a b l e s a s  p r e d i c t o r s w a s p r e v a l e n t , but multiple v a r i a b l e a p p r o a c h e s h a v e b e c o m e m o r e w i d e s p r e a d a s the v a r i e t y of f a c t o r s w h i c h i n f l u e n c e c h i l d d e v e l o p m e n t a n d s c h o o l performance have been recognized (Keogh & Daley, 1983). c.  Screening  Content  I d e n t i f i c a t i o n of e d u c a t i o n a l l y at-risk s t u d e n t s  is a c o m p l e x t a s k  both  c o n c e p t u a l l y a n d at t h e m e a s u r e m e n t level d u e t o the m u l t i p l i c i t y of s e p a r a t e or combined external and within-child influences on human development (Keogh & Daley, 1983).  Additionally, educational o u t c o m e goals represent abilities, skills,  and k n o w l e d g e within multifacited domains.  G r a c e y et a l . ( 1 9 8 4 ) report results  f r o m their n a t i o n a l s u r v e y of s c r e e n i n g p r a c t i c e s w h i c h i n d i c a t e t h a t c o n t e n t a r e a s are g e n e r a l l y r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of four d o m a i n s :  Physical:  s e n s o r y , m o t o r (often referred t o a s p e r c e p t u a l - m o t o r ) , health history, current health, immunizations, dental  Language:  s p e e c h , language, bilingualism  Cognitive:  cognitive skills, learning, aptitude  Behavioral:  behavior, social and emotional functioning.  G r a c e y ' s s u r v e y r e v e a l e d t h a t all f o u r d o m a i n s w e r e s e l d o m i n c l u d e d in individual s c r e e n i n g p r o g r a m s a l t h o u g h e a c h is c o m p r i s e d of c o n t e n t generally f o u n d in t h e s c r e e n i n g literature.  areas  S u c h v a r i e t y i n d i c a t e s r e c o g n i t i o n of  the c h i l d a s a w h o l e p e r s o n ( S h i p m a n , 1 9 8 1 ).  U n f o r t u n a t e l y , in their b r e v i t y a n d  nature of c o n t e n t , k i n d e r g a r t e n s c r e e n i n g m e a s u r e s are m o s t o f t e n u n a b l e to sample s u c h a broad spectrum (Keogh & Becker, 1 9 7 3 ) . M e r c e r et a l . ( 1 9 8 8 ) s u g g e s t t h a t the i n c l u s i o n o f p r e a c a d e m i c c o n t e n t in k i n d e r g a r t e n s c r e e n i n g c a n lead t o s u c c e s s f u l i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of high-risk l e a r n e r s . S p e c i f i c skills relating to p r e m a t h e m a t i c s a n d p r e r e a d i n g are f o c u s e d u p o n , s u c h as r e c o g n i t i o n of n u m b e r s , letters, a n d s h a p e s ( R e y n o l d s , G u t k i n , Elliott, & W i t t (1984).  P r e d i c t i o n at a n earlier a g e w o u l d rely l e s s u p o n s u c h a c a d e m i c a l l y  a c q u i r e d s k i l l s t h a n t h o s e of l a n g u a g e a n d p h y s i c a l f a c t o r s . M a n y s t u d i e s h a v e f o c u s e d o n t h e p r e d i c t i o n of o u t c o m e s in s p e c i f i c a c a d e m i c a r e a s c o n s i d e r e d t o be of p r i m e i m p o r t a n c e t o s c h o o l - a g e f u n c t i o n i n g (Adelman & Feshbach, 1971).  T h e l a n g u a g e arts c o m p r i s e a s u b s t a n t i a l p o r t i o n  of p r i m a r y g r a d e c u r r i c u l a a n d a g o o d d e a l of r e s e a r c h in t h i s a r e a has i n v e s t i g a t e d t h e p r e d i c t i o n of later a c h i e v e m e n t in r e a d i n g ( B a d i a n , 1 9 8 6 ; F e s h b a c h , A d e l m a n & Fuller, 1 9 7 4 ; G r a y , 1 9 8 8 ; J a n s k y & d e H i r s c h , 1 9 7 2 ) . H o r n & P a c k a r d ( 1 9 8 5 ) s u m m a r i z e d d a t a o n the p r e d i c t i o n of later r e a d i n g a c h i e v e m e n t b y c o n d u c t i n g a m e t a - a n a l y s i s o n t h e r e s u l t s of 5 8 k i n d e r g a r t e n or first g r a d e e a r l y i d e n t i f i c a t i o n m e a s u r e s . R e s u l t s s u g g e s t e d t h a t the b e s t i n d i c a t o r s  include language variables, attention-distractibility, general cognitive f u n c t i o n i n g , and the  b e h a v i o r of  personality  internalizing problenns s u c h a s a n x i e t y , d e p r e s s i o n , or  problems.  Even these  indicators  were  considered to  be  only  m o d e r a t e l y u s e f u l in g r o u p p r e d i c t i o n of s u b s e q u e n t s c h o o l p e r f o r m a n c e a n d of limited utility in i n d i v i d u a l c a s e s . T h e l o w p r e d i c t i v e m a g n i t u d e of s o f t n e u r o l o g i c a l v a r i a b l e s a n d s e n s o r y i n t e g r a t i o n w a s u n e x p e c t e d , particularly for m e a s u r e s of gross skills, cerebral dominance, and handedness.  T h e s e v a r i a b l e s are o f t e n  a s s u m e d t o m o r e d i r e c t l y infer s p e c i f i c h i g h e r c o r t i c a l d y s f u n c t i o n w h i c h a c c o u n t s for p o o r s c h o o l p e r f o r m a n c e t h a n d o g l o b a l c o g n i t i v e m e a s u r e s s u c h a s i n t e l l i g e n c e tests.  In c o m p a r i s o n , t h e r e f o r e , s p e c i f i c v a r i a b l e s h a v e not p r o v e n t o be m o r e  e f f e c t i v e e a r l y p r e d i c t o r s of s c h o o l s u c c e s s t h a n t h e m o r e g l o b a l m e a s u r e s a s indicated by the results. Internalizing b e h a v i o r p r o b l e m s s u c h a s a n x i e t y a n d  depression were  u n e x p e c t e d l y g o o d p r e d i c t o r s of a c h i e v e m e n t . It h a s b e e n a s s u m e d t h a t b e h a v i o r a n d e m o t i o n a l p r o b l e m s are a result of l e a r n i n g d i f f i c u l t i e s , rather t h a n p r e c u r s o r s . It is n o t e d , h o w e v e r , t h a t e x t e r n a l , a c t i n g - o u t b e h a v i o r m a y be t h e result of l o n g t e r m failure a n d f r u s t r a t i o n .  G r a c e y et a l . ( 1 9 8 4 ) a l s o n o t e t h e  relationship  b e t w e e n e a r l y b e h a v i o r a l p r o b l e m s a n d later a c a d e m i c f u n c t i o n i n g , but i n d i c a t e t h a t f e w r e q u i r e m e n t s e x i s t for b e h a v i o r a l s c r e e n i n g . D i s a g r e e m e n t c o n t i n u e s as t o  which  variables provide the  prediction of s c h o o l learning problems (Simner, 1 9 8 3 ) .  best  early  The review by Horn &  P a c k a r d ( 1 9 8 5 ) s e r v e s , in part, t o e m p h a s i z e t h e l a c k of c o n s i s t e n t p r e d i c t i v e e v i d e n c e o f the m a n y a n d v a r i o u s m e a s u r e s e m p l o y e d in s c r e e n i n g p r o g r a m s .  L e a c h ( 1 9 8 0 ) n o t e s t h a t t o o f e w a t t e m p t s h a v e b e e n m a d e to e v a l u a t e t h e g e n e r a l e f f e c t i v e n e s s o f s c r e e n i n g m e a s u r e s a n d their s p e c i f i c utility for the s c h o o l d i s t r i c t involved. Of note, confusion between developmental screening tests and readiness tests has c o m p l i c a t e d content selection issues (Meisels, 1 9 8 7 ) . M i s t a k i n g one for the o t h e r m i s r e p r e s e n t s t h e s c o p e a n d p u r p o s e of b o t h t e s t s .  This concern must  be a d d r e s s e d m o r e t h o r o u g h l y . d.  Readiness Tests versus Developmental Screening  Tests  T w o b a s i c t e s t s are a s s o c i a t e d w i t h s c r e e n i n g a n d a s s e s s m e n t o f c h i l d r e n at k i n d e r g a r t e n e n t r y (Hills, 1 9 8 7 ) .  S c h o o l readiness tests indicate the acquired  level of s p e c i f i c k n o w l e d g e a n d skills t h a t are c o n s i d e r e d t o be i m p o r t a n t e n t r y criteria for p a r t i c u l a r s c h o o l p r o g r a m s . rather  than  predict  child  outcomes.  They describe child entry characteristics Developmental  screening tests  yield  p e r f o r m a n c e i n f o r m a t i o n for b r o a d a r e a s of n o r m a l d e v e l o p m e n t a n d abilities t h a t are a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t h e p o t e n t i a l t o a c q u i r e f u r t h e r k n o w l e d g e a n d s k i l l s . Meisels (1987) contrasts the purpose, content, and p s y c h o m e t r i c properties of t h e s e t w o t y p e s o f t e s t s . H e s t a t e s t h a t t h e p u r p o s e o f r e a d i n e s s t e s t s s h o u l d be t o i d e n t i f y a c h i l d ' s p r e p a r e d n e s s for s p e c i f i c a c a d e m i c p r o g r a m s a n d to facilitate c u r r i c u l u m p l a n n i n g .  T h e p u r p o s e o f d e v e l o p m e n t a l s c r e e n i n g is t o  i d e n t i f y s t u d e n t s w h o m a y require a n d profit f r o m m o d i f i e d o r i n d i v i d u a l i z e d programs. The  item  content  of  readiness tests  ideally f o c u s e s o n  current  skill  a c h i e v e m e n t , performance, and general knowledge as o p p o s e d to developmental  s c r e e n i n g items w h i c h d i s p l a y ability or p o t e n t i a l t o a c q u i r e a c a d e m i c s k i l l s . R e a d i n e s s t e s t s are o f t e n m i s t a k e n l y s u b s t i t u t e d for d e v e l o p m e n t a l s c r e e n i n g t e s t s w h i c h M e i s e l s ( 1 9 8 7 ) s u g g e s t s h a v e a s t r o n g e r r e l a t i o n s h i p to f u t u r e s c h o o l p e r f o r m a n c e . In p r a c t i c e , purity of c o n t e n t is n o t p r e v a l e n t . R e a d i n e s s t e s t s are m o s t o f t e n c r i t e r i o n - r e f e r e n c e d a n d are a better s u b j e c t for c o n s t r u c t v a l i d i t y w h i l e d e v e l o p m e n t a l s c r e e n i n g is n o r m - r e f e r e n c e d a n d a r e a better s u b j e c t for p r e d i c t i v e v a l i d i t y . M e i s e l s ( 1 9 8 7 ) c o n s i d e r s t h a t the r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n r e a d i n e s s t e s t s a n d o u t c o m e m e a s u r e s s u c h a s s c h o o l p e r f o r m a n c e or c o m p r e h e n s i v e d e v e l o p m e n t a l a s s e s s m e n t s is w e a k e r t h a n t h a t b e t w e e n d e v e l o p mental screening and o u t c o m e measures. 3.  Screening Benefits B y far t h e g r e a t e s t a d v a n t a g e of a c o m p r e h e n s i v e s c r e e n i n g p r o g r a m lies in  the link b e t w e e n early i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of learning n e e d s a n d t h e p o s i t i v e e f f e c t s o n s c h o o l performance derived from s u b s e q u e n t and s u c c e s s f u l early intervention (NASP, 1989).  V a r i o u s b e n e f i t s i n d i c a t e d in t h e r e v i e w of literature i n c l u d e  r e d u c t i o n s in g r a d e r e t e n t i o n , s p e c i a l e d u c a t i o n p l a c e m e n t , u n e m p l o y m e n t a n d s c h o o l drop out rates. T h e s u m m a r y r e p o r t of T h e R o y a l C o m m i s s i o n of E d u c a t i o n for British C o l u m b i a ( S u l l i v a n , 1 9 8 8 ) e s t i m a t e s t h a t 3 5 - 4 0 % of s t u d e n t s e n t e r i n g n i n t h g r a d e fail to m e e t g r a d u a t i o n r e q u i r e m e n t s . T h i s s i t u a t i o n is c o n s i d e r e d t o be intolerable for s o c i e t y a s a w h o l e , for t h e e d u c a t i o n a l s y s t e m , a n d f o r t h e s t u d e n t . It is n o t e d t h a t if c u r r i c u l u m a n d i n s t r u c t i o n are to r e s p o n d t o t h e d e v e l o p m e n t a l n e e d s of s t u d e n t s , a s s e s s m e n t m u s t be i n s t i g a t e d at s c h o o l e n t r y . E a r l y  identification  r e p r e s e n t s i n c r e a s e d e d u c a t i o n a l s e r v i c e p r o v i s i o n for the y o u n g c h i l d a n d r e f l e c t s d u e p r o c e s s rights of t h e p a r e n t a n d c h i l d (Lerner et a l . , 1 9 8 7 ) . E m o t i o n a l c o s t s t o t h e c h i l d a n d the f a m i l y are h o p e f u l l y r e d u c e d o r p r e v e n t e d a s a result of e a r l y i d e n t i f i c a t i o n - i n t e r v e n t i o n p r o g r a m s . A s all s t u d e n t s are i n c l u d e d in m a s s k i n d e r g a r t e n s c r e e n i n g , initial a d m i n i s t r a t i o n d o e s not i m p l y i n d i v i d u a l s t i g m a ( L i c h t e n s t e i n & Ireton, 1 9 8 4 ) .  E m p h a s i s o n the d i s c o v e r y of  s t r e n g t h s a s w e l l a s w e a k n e s s c a n help mitigate a n y labeling e f f e c t s w h i l e a i d i n g intervention planning. Early detection facilitates family adjustment and a c c e p t a n c e to m o r e q u i c k l y e n a b l e t h e i m p l e m e n t a t i o n of e a r l y i n t e r v e n t i o n p r a c t i c e s ( H a y d e n , 1974). R e s u l t s of k i n d e r g a r t e n s c r e e n i n g a n d v a l i d a t i o n t e s t i n g result in m o r e a c c u r a t e l o c a l or r e g i o n a l b a s e rates of p a r t i c u l a r c o n d i t i o n s ( B a r n e s , 1 9 8 2 ) . Evidence  of  prevalence allows  educational  s y s t e m s to  address  presenting  problems. G r a c e y et a l . ( 1 9 8 4 ) s u g g e s t t h a t s c r e e n i n g results m i g h t be u s e d t o d e v e l o p a profile t h a t d e s c r i b e s t h o s e c h i l d r e n m o s t likely t o be m i s c l a s s i f l e d (overidentified or u n d e r i d e n t i f i e d ) b y a particular m e a s u r e . S c r e e n i n g d e c i s i o n s for t h e s e c h i l d r e n c a n be m o r e c a r e f u l l y m o n i t o r e d . T h e s e p o s s i b l e b e n e f i t s are e n c o u r a g i n g a n d p r o v i d e i n c e n t i v e t o m a i n t a i n e a r l y i d e n t i f i c a t i o n a n d s c r e e n i n g p r o g r a m s . A w a r e n e s s of c o n c e r n s r e g a r d i n g t h e s c r e e n i n g p r o c e s s p r o v i d e s a b a s i s for p o t e n t i a l i m p r o v e m e n t .  4.  Screening Concerns  a.  General Concerns S c r e e n i n g a s a m e a n s of risl< i d e n t i f i c a t i o n c a n n o t be justified u n l e s s it  results in m o r e e f f e c t i v e e d u c a t i o n a l p r o g r a m m i n g for t h e s t u d e n t ( B o o k , 1 9 8 0 ) . Its v a l u e is c o n s i d e r e d i n s u f f i c i e n t w i t h o u t better e d u c a t i o n a l o p p o r t u n i t y .  The  d e s i r e d r e s p o n s e of t r e a t m e n t i n t e r v e n t i o n m a y i n t r o d u c e , h o w e v e r , a c o n f o u n d i n g effect on the predictive relationship b e t w e e n screening and o u t c o m e m e a s u r e s such as achievement. Remedial programming may positively influence subsequent achievement levels s u c h t h a t initial at-risk i d e n t i f i c a t i o n w o u l d a p p e a r i n a c c u r a t e .  Jacobsen  (1990)  has been  n o t e s t h a t failure to c o n t r o l for t h e e f f e c t s of i n t e r v e n t i o n  p r o b l e m a t i c f o r r e s e a r c h e r s i n t e r e s t e d in e a r l y p r e d i c t i o n . J a c o b s e n i n v e s t i g a t e d the r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n k i n d e r g a r t e n s c r e e n i n g d a t a for l a n g u a g e , p e r c e p t u a l motor,  cognitive,  and  academic  variables  and  four-year  longitudinal  data  r e p r e s e n t i n g a c h i e v e m e n t in v o c a b u l a r y , l a n g u a g e , r e a d i n g , a n d m a t h . R e s u l t s of h i e r a r c h i c a l linear  r e g r e s s i o n a n a l y s i s failed  to  demonstrate,  however,  that  controlling for intervention improved the prediction-performance relationship. fact,  the  effects  achievement. challenging and  suggest  that  intervention  C o n t r o l l i n g for the e f f e c t s b e y o n d the  s c o p e of t h e  did  not  improve  of i n t e r v e n t i o n present study  In  subsequent  is m e t h o d o l o g i c a l l y although  rates  of  m i s d i a g n o s i s w i l l be a d d r e s s e d . A g e , g e n d e r , s o c i o - e c o n o m i c s t a t u s , e t h n i c c o n s i d e r a t i o n s , s i z e of s a m p l e , g e n e r a l i z a b i l i t y of f i n d i n g s a c r o s s p o p u l a t i o n s , r e f l e c t i o n of c u r r i c u l u m c o n t e n t .  social/emotional/behavioral  factors,  and  labelling  are  examples  of  issues  c o n t r i b u t i n g t o t h e d e b a t e s u r r o u n d i n g t h e u s e of s c r e e n i n g m e a s u r e s in e a r l y identification programs. In h i s o v e r v i e w of s c r e e n i n g p r a c t i c e . L e a c h ( 1 9 8 0 ) relates the c o n c e r n for p r a c t i c a l e f f e c t i v e n e s s a n d e f f i c i e n c y o f s c r e e n i n g t o t h e critical i s s u e of p r e d i c t i v e validity a n d h o w it is m e a s u r e d . b.  Validation Models T h e p r i m a r y e m p h a s i s of e a r l y i d e n t i f i c a t i o n p r a c t i c e w i t h i n e d u c a t i o n is t o  predict w h i c h c h i l d r e n are likely at-risk for e x p e r i e n c i n g learning d i f f i c u l t i e s .  The  v a l u e of t h e s c r e e n i n g c o m p o n e n t is r e p r e s e n t e d in g e n e r a l b y its i n c l u s i o n a s o n e s t a g e in a m u l t i - s t a g e p r o c e s s , a n d in p a r t i c u l a r b y t h e level of p r e d i c t i v e a c c u r a c y , or v a l i d i t y , of t h e p a r t i c u l a r s c r e e n i n g m e a s u r e or m e a s u r e s e m p l o y e d . As  s c r e e n i n g m e a s u r e s are d e s i g n e d t o  assist decision classifications  (risk/no-risk), validity data indicating the predictive efficiency and inefficiency (errors in p r e d i c t i o n ) of t h e s e d e c i s i o n s are r e q u i r e d ( L i c h t e n s t e i n , 1 9 8 1 ) .  Two  m a i n v a l i d a t i o n a p p r o a c h e s h a v e b e e n r e p o r t e d . T h e first e x p r e s s e s v a l i d i t y in t e r m s of c o r r e l a t i o n c o e f f i c i e n t s , t h e s e c o n d in t e r m s of p e r c e n t a g e s of a c c u r a t e and inaccurate predictions. T h e u s e of t h e c o r r e l a t i o n c o e f f i c i e n t in i s o l a t i o n h a s b e e n c r i t i c i z e d as i n a d e q u a t e b e c a u s e it p r o v i d e s i n f o r m a t i o n a b o u t t h e c o n g r u e n c e b e t w e e n the s c o r e s o n s c r e e n i n g a n d o u t c o m e m e a s u r e s but n o t a b o u t the n u m b e r of c o r r e c t a n d i n c o r r e c t d e c i s i o n s c o n c e r n i n g c h i l d r e n at-risk ( S c h u l t e & M o o r e , 1 9 8 8 ) . C o n s e q u e n t l y , the e s s e n t i a l i s s u e s u r r o u n d i n g t h e d e c i s i o n p r o c e s s is n o t d i r e c t l y  a d d r e s s e d t h r o u g h c o r r e l a t i o n a l a n a l y s i s . C u r r e n t l y o f m o r e p r e v a l e n t u s e in t h e e v a l u a t i o n o f p r e d i c t i v e e f f i c i e n c y is t h e p r e d i c t i o n - p e r f o r m a n c e matrix ( M e r c e r et al., 1988; Wilson & Reichmuth, 1985). T h i s m o d e l , originally p r o p o s e d b y M e e h l & R o s e n ( 1 9 5 5 ) , has m a n y titles: classification matrix, decision matrix.  hit  rate m o d e l , c r o s s - t a b u l a t i o n , e x p e c t a n c y t a b l e ,  A s e d u c a t i o n a l d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g is i n h e r e n t  in  and  kindergarten  s c r e e n i n g , t h e latter title h a s b e e n c h o s e n f o r u s e in t h i s s t u d y .  D.  DECISION MATRICES  1.  D e s c r i p t i o n a n d Interpretive F o r m u l a s T h e d e c i s i o n m a t r i x m o d e l t y p i c a l l y e m p l o y s a 2 X 2 m a t r i x w h i c h c a n be  interpreted  in v a r i o u s w a y s .  For s c r e e n i n g d e c i s i o n s (predictive  measure),  d i c h o t o m o u s r i s k / n o - r i s k c l a s s i f i c a t i o n results are u s u a l l y r e c o r d e d v e r t i c a l l y d o w n t h e left-side  q u a d r a n t s of t h e m a t r i x .  R e s u l t s of t h e c r i t e r i o n  (performance  m e a s u r e ) , o f t e n d e s i g n a t e d a s s a t i s f a c t o r y / u n s a t i s f a c t o r y or p o o r / g o o d , are u s u a l l y r e c o r d e d h o r i z o n t a l l y a l o n g the t o p - s i d e q u a d r a n t s .  F i g u r e 1 illustrates the f o u r  q u a d r a n t s w h i c h are f o r m e d a n d their c a t e g o r i c a l d e s c r i p t i o n s . Each quadrant ( A , B , C , D ) represents a decision classification indicating the r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n s t u d e n t p e r f o r m a n c e o n b o t h the s c r e e n i n g a n d measures.  criterion  F o l l o w i n g m e d i c a l c l a s s i f i c a t i o n p r o c e d u r e , u n s a t i s f a c t o r y results are  c o n s i d e r e d " p o s i t i v e " (risk) a n d s a t i s f a c t o r y results are c o n s i d e r e d " n e g a t i v e " (norisk).  Figure 1.  Decision IVIatrix  Criterion Performance Screening Performance  Unsatisfactory  Satisfactory  Unsatisfactory (Risic)  True Positives  False Positives (over-referral) B  A Satisfactory (No-risl<)  False N e g a t i v e s (under-referral) C  True Negatives  1  D  Quadrant A -  u n s a t i s f a c t o r y s c r e e n i n g / u n s a t i s f a c t o r y c r i t e r i o n (true p o s i t i v e s orT-l-)  Quadrant B -  u n s a t i s f a c t o r y s c r e e n i n g / s a t i s f a c t o r y c r i t e r i o n (false p o s i t i v e s or F + , a l s o c o n s i d e r e d a n over-referral)  Quadrant C -  s a t i s f a c t o r y s c r e e n i n g / u n s a t i s f a c t o r y c r i t e r i o n (false n e g a t i v e s o r F-, a l s o c o n s i d e r e d a n under-referral)  Quadrant D -  s a t i s f a c t o r y s c r e e n i n g / s a t i s f a c t o r y c r i t e r i o n (true n e g a t i v e s or T-).  The (prediction)  m o d e l s u m m a r i z e s the and  " a c t u a l " status  relationship  as defined  between  b y the  screening  criterion  outcomes  outcome.  The  p r e d i c t i v e a c c u r a c y o f c l a s s i f i c a t i o n d e c i s i o n s c a n be i n t e r p r e t e d in a n u m b e r of w a y s u s i n g different f o r m u l a s utilizing p e r c e n t a g e c a l c u l a t i o n s . assigned to  Q u a d r a n t s A , B, C , a n d D f o r m the  Individual c a s e s  b a s i s for t h e s e  formulas.  H o r i z o n t a l a n d v e r t i c a l e v a l u a t i o n p r o v i d e c o m p a r a t i v e o u t c o m e s ( M e r c e r et a l . , 1988).  H o r i z o n t a l a n a l y s i s c a l c u l a t e s p e r c e n t a g e s of " p r o b a b l e " s c r e e n i n g a c c u r a c y in  relation  to  correct  and  incorrect  screening  outcomes  of  risk/no-risk  classifications: - e f f i c i e n c y of s c r e e n i n g " r i s k " , (T + ) - i n e f f i c i e n c y of s c r e e n i n g " r i s k " , (F+ or over-referral)  A/A + B B/A + B  - e f f i c i e n c y o f s c r e e n i n g " n o r i s k " , (T-) - i n e f f i c i e n c y o f s c r e e n i n g " n o r i s k " , (F- or under-referrral).  C/C +  D/C + D D  V e r t i c a l a n a l y s i s c a l c u l a t e s p e r c e n t a g e s of " a c t u a l " s c r e e n i n g a c c u r a c y in relation t o u n s a t i s f a c t o r y a n d s a t i s f a c t o r y c r i t e r i o n r e s u l t s .  T w o f o r m u l a s are  p a r t i c u l a r l y i m p o r t a n t to v e r t i c a l l y c a l c u l a t e d p r e d i c t i v e a c c u r a c y : - s e n s i t i v i t y is t h e p r o p o r t i o n of s t u d e n t s c o r r e c t l y identified a s " a t - r i s k " ( T - h ) , A/A + C - s p e c i f i c i t y is t h e p r o p o r t i o n of s t u d e n t s c o r r e c t l y identified a s " n o - r i s k " (T-), D/B + D.  The  problem  b a s e rate  (or  actual  problem  incidence within  a  given  p o p u l a t i o n ) is o f v a l u e w h e n m a k i n g c o m p a r i s o n s r e g a r d i n g p r o b a b l e a n d a c h i e v e d a c c u r a c y rates of s c r e e n i n g m e a s u r e s a n d is c a l c u l a t e d b y A + C / A - I - B - H C + D . T h e referral rate r e p r e s e n t s the p r o p o r t i o n o f s t u d e n t s w i t h i n t h e p o p u l a t i o n w h o s e s c r e e n i n g r e s u l t s i n d i c a t e d " r i s k . " It m u s t be greater t h a n the b a s e rate a s a c e r t a i n p r o p o r t i o n o f referrals w i l l p r o v e to be in error. S c r e e n i n g is d e s i g n e d t o o p t i m i z e t h e p o s s i b i l i t y t h a t all t a r g e t g r o u p (at-risk) c h i l d r e n m a y be p i c k e d up b y t h e m e a s u r e or m e a s u r e s e m p l o y e d ( L i c h t e n s t e i n & Ireton, 1 9 8 4 ) . T h e referral rate is c a l c u l a t e d by A -i- B / A + B + C + D .  T h e o v e r a l l hit rate r e p r e s e n t s t h e o v e r a l l p e r c e n t a g e o f s t u d e n t s w h o h a v e been correctly  Identified a s b o t h  "risk"  and "no-risk".  It is c a l c u l a t e d  by  A + D / A + B + C + D. F i g u r e 2 p r e s e n t s a n u m e r i c a l illustration o f a d e c i s i o n matrix a s c i t e d in L i c h t e n s t e i n & Ireton ( 1 9 8 4 ) .  Figure 2 . Numerical Illustration of Decision Matrix  Criterion Screen  Unsatisfactory (at-risk)  Unsatisfactory  Satisfactory  17  27  (T + )  * H (39%) * * V (77%)  (F-I-) 44  H (61%) V (10%) A  B (over-referral)  5 Satisfactory (no-risk)  (F-)  H (2%) V (23%)  247  (T-) 252  H (98%) V (90%) C  D  (under-referral) 22  274  N = 296  * H = Horizontal evaluation * * V = Vertical evaluation P r o b l e m Base Rate  = 22/296  = 7%  Referral Rate  = 44/296  = 15%  S e n s i t i v i t y (T + ) (actual a c c u r a c y o f p r e d i c t i o n , V )  = 17/22  = 77%  S p e c i f i c i t y (T-) ( a c t u a l a c c u r a c y of p r e d i c t i o n , V )  = 247/274  = 90%  = E f f i c i e n c y of s c r e e n i n g " a t risk (probable a c c u r a c y of p r e d i c i t o n , H)  17/44  =  =  27/44  = 61%  I n e f f i c i e n c y of s c r e e n i n g " a t r i s k " (ie. o v e r - r e f e r r a l , H)  E f f i c i e n c y of s c r e e n i n g " n o r i s k " = 247/252 (probable a c c u r a c y of p r e d i c t i o n , H) 5/252  39%  = 98%  I n e f f i c i e n c y of s c r e e n i n g " n o r i s k " (ie. u n d e r - r e f e r r a l , H)  =  =  2%  O v e r a l l Hit R a t e  = 264/296  V a r i o u s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s are p o s s i b l e .  For e x a m p l e , horizontal evaluation  = 89%  i n d i c a t e s t h a t 3 9 % of t h o s e p r e d i c t e d t o d o u n s a t i s f a c t o r i l y a c t u a l l y p e r f o r m e d s o , y e t t h e p r e d i c t i o n t e s t w a s c o r r e c t for 7 7 % of t h o s e w h o a c t u a l l y p e r f o r m e d poorly w h e n vertical evaluation w a s applied. M a n y authors indicate a preference for v e r t i c a l e v a l u a t i o n a n d c o n s i d e r s e n s i t i v i t y a n d s p e c i f i c i t y to c o n t a i n t h e m o s t pertinent information ( G r e e n w o o d , 1 9 8 1 ) . It is n o t e d t h a t b y m e r e l y i n c r e a s i n g or d e c r e a s i n g t h e c u t - o f f s c o r e o n either p r e d i c t i v e or c r i t e r i o n m e a s u r e s , the d e r i v e d i n f o r m a t i o n is altered a c c o r d i n g l y . 2.  Summary R e s u l t s of d e c i s i o n m a t r i x a n a l y s i s are c o n s i d e r e d t o p r o v i d e m o r e v a l u a b l e  information  than the correlation coefficient w h e n investigating the  v a l i d i t y a n d utility of s c r e e n i n g c l a s s i f i c a t i o n d e c i s i o n s .  predictive  Horizontal and vertical  e v a l u a t i o n o f t h e m a t r i x c o m p a r e p r o b a b l e v e r s u s a c t u a l a c c u r a c y rates of risk identification. calculated.  P r o b l e m b a s e rate, referral r a t e , a n d o v e r a l l hit rate m a y a l s o be  E.  SUMMARY The present study will provide additional k n o w l e d g e regarding the validation  of k i n d e r g a r t e n s c r e e n i n g m e a s u r e s . W i t h i n t h e f r a m e w o r k of e m p i r i c a l e v a l u a t i o n , d e c i s i o n m a t r i c e s w i l l be utilized t o d e m o n s t r a t e t h e p r e d i c t i v e v a l i d i t y a n d utility o f s p e c i f i c k i n d e r g a r t e n screening m e a s u r e s . This analysis represents efforts to generate information of a  p r a c t i c a l rather  than  statistical  nature.  Horizontal, vertical, and  overall  e v a l u a t i o n s of c l a s s i f i c a t i o n d e c i s i o n s w i l l be p r e s e n t e d . For t h e s c h o o l d i s t r i c t , i n f o r m a t i o n w i l l be p r o v i d e d r e g a r d i n g t h e p r e d i c t i v e a c c u r a c y o f s c r e e n i n g at-risk or not at-risk u s i n g t h e s e l e c t e d s c r e e n i n g m e a s u r e s . T h i s i n f o r m a t i o n m a y p r o v e influential in m a k i n g p o l i c y d e c i s i o n s p e r t a i n i n g t o t h e c o n t i n u a t i o n a n d / o r m o d i f i c a t i o n of the k i n d e r g a r t e n s c r e e n i n g p r o g r a m . R e l a t e d f a c t o r s t o be c o n s i d e r e d m a y i n c l u d e the a l l o c a t i o n of m o n e t a r y a n d p e r s o n n e l resources.  III.  A.  METHODOLOGY  INTRODUCTION T h e p u r p o s e of t h i s s t u d y is t o i n v e s t i g a t e the v a l i d i t y a n d utility of f o u r  k i n d e r g a r t e n s c r e e n i n g nneasures a n d t h e c o m p o s i t e s c r e e n i n g c l a s s i f i c a t i o n a s p r e d i c t o r s of t h i r d - g r a d e a c h i e v e m e n t , h i s t o r y o f i n t e r v e n t i o n , a n d r e t e n t i o n s t a t u s . T h i s c h a p t e r d e s c r i b e s the t a r g e t p r o g r a m a n d s u b j e c t s a m p l e , t h e p r e d i c t i v e a n d c r i t e r i o n i n s t r u m e n t s , a n d the m e t h o d of d a t a c o l l e c t i o n a n d a n a l y s i s .  B.  T H E E A R L Y IDENTIFICATION P R O G R A M T h e p r o g r a m u n d e r s t u d y w a s initiated in 1 9 8 1 by o n e s c h o o l d i s t r i c t t o aid  in t h e e a r l y i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of k i n d e r g a r t e n c h i l d r e n c o n s i d e r e d to be at-risk for e x c e p t i o n a l i t i e s in l e a r n i n g .  A l t h o u g h this description might include potentially  gifted s t u d e n t s , t h e s e c h i l d r e n w e r e n o t t h e f o c u s of t h e p r e s e n t i n v e s t i g a t i o n . E x t e n s i v e d o c u m e n t a t i o n a n d its a c c e s s i b i l i t y w e r e a d d i t i o n a l a d v a n t a g e s offered by the selected s c h o o l district.  T h e early identification p r o c e s s e m p l o y e d  a t h r e e - s t a g e m o d e l w h i c h i n c l u d e d t h e tri-level s e r v i c e s of c l a s s r o o m , b u i l d i n g , and district  resource staff.  A specific kindergarten screening program  was  d e s i g n e d f o r the initial s t a g e in the e a r l y i d e n t i f i c a t i o n p r o c e s s , f o l l o w e d b y further d i a g n o s t i c a s s e s s m e n t a s r e q u i r e d . T h e k i n d e r g a r t e n t e a c h e r , learning a s s i s t a n c e t e a c h e r , a n d s p e c i a l s e r v i c e s staff w e r e t h e a g e n t s r e s p o n s i b l e for i n f o r m a t i o n at p r o g r e s s i v e s t a g e s .  gathering  T h e s c r e e n i n g s t a g e itself w a s c a r r i e d o u t t h r o u g h o u t the k i n d e r g a r t e n y e a r in o r d e r t o m a i n t a i n e a r l y d e t e c t i o n of risk a n d , t h u s , to e n a b l e m o r e e f f e c t i v e d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g a n d i n d i v i d u a l p r o g r a m m i n g to t a k e p l a c e . P u b l i c health s c r e e n i n g , parent i n t e r v i e w s , s c h o o l e n t r y i n f o r m a t i o n , a n d  ongoing teacher observations  p r o v i d e d t h e b a s i s for q u a l i t a t i v e d a t a . T h i s s t u d y w a s i n t e n d e d to i n v e s t i g a t e t h e validity of those quantitative  s c r e e n i n g m e a s u r e s s e l e c t e d b y the d i s t r i c t  as  p r e d i c t i v e i n d i c a t o r s of risk w h i c h w e r e a d m i n i s t e r e d at different t i m e s t h r o u g h o u t the kindergarten year. T h e d e v e l o p m e n t a l a r e a s n o t e d by t h e district a s t h e m o s t  frequently  i n v e s t i g a t e d in the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of at-risk c h i l d r e n i n c l u d e d t h o s e of l a n g u a g e , visual-motor, fine/gross motor, cognitive, academic/pre-academic, and social/ emotional. The following measures w e r e selected by the district:  1.  Draw-A-Person ( D A P ) ; T h i s t e s t , a d m i n i s t e r e d in N o v e m b e r , is c o n s i d e r e d t o be i n d i c a t i v e of n o n - v e r b a l c o g n i t i v e ability.  2.  Kindergarten Language Screening Test ( K L S T ) ; This test, a d m i n i s t e r e d in J a n u a r y , is c o n s i d e r e d to be i n d i c a t i v e of v e r b a l l a n g u a g e ability.  3.  Mann-Suiter Visual Motor Screen ( M S ) ; This t e s t , a d m i n i s t e r e d in J a n u a r y , is c o n s i d e r e d t o be i n d i c a t i v e of a c h i l d ' s d e v e l o p m e n t a l level of v i s u a l - m o t o r integration skills for r e c o g n i z i n g a n d r e p r o d u c i n g geometric shapes.  4.  Deverell Test of Letters and Numbers ( D L N ) ; T h i s t e s t , a d m i n i s t e r e d in M a y , is c o n s i d e r e d to be i n d i c a t i v e of t h e ability t o identify t h e n u m b e r s 1-12 a n d the u p p e r a n d l o w e r c a s e letters of t h e a l p h a b e t .  F o r e a c h s c r e e n i n g m e a s u r e , failure to m e e t t h e p a s s i n g c r i t e r i a  was  i n d i c a t e d b y a " f a i l e d " ( " R i s k " ) s t a n d i n g rather t h a n by t h e a c t u a l s c o r e . E a c h t e s t .  a l t h o u g h differing in c o n t e n t a n d l e n g t h , w a s t h u s c o n s i d e r e d of e q u a l w e i g h t a s a s c r e e n i n g m e a s u r e . A c o m p o s i t e s c r e e n i n g c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of " R i s k " w a s o b t a i n e d w h e n t w o or m o r e " f a i l u r e s " w e r e a c c u m u l a t e d .  A composite classification of  " N o - r i s k " w a s o b t a i n e d w h e n three or m o r e p a s s e s w e r e a c c u m u l a t e d . " R i s k " s t u d e n t s w e r e s u b s e q u e n t l y referred t o the learning a s s i s t a n c e t e a c h e r for f u r t h e r s c r e e n i n g a n d d i a g n o s i s . p r o v e u n s u c c e s s f u l , third s t a g e referral t o psychoeducational assessment followed.  Should intervention district  programming  special services staff  for  P a r e n t s w e r e k e p t i n f o r m e d at e a c h  stage. A n o r i e n t a t i o n s e s s i o n for k i n d e r g a r t e n a n d l e a r n i n g a s s i s t a n c e t e a c h e r s w a s held at t h e b e g i n n i n g of the s c h o o l y e a r t o facilitate t h e e f f e c t i v e i m p l e m e n t a t i o n of s c r e e n i n g , d o c u m e n t a t i o n , a n d s u m m a r y r e c o r d - k e e p i n g p r o c e d u r e s a n d to provide the involved.  r e q u i r e d training  in a d m i n i s t r a t i o n  a n d s c o r i n g of the  Ongoing in-service sessions were then  measures  held d u r i n g the  regularly  s c h e d u l e d m e e t i n g s of t h e s e t e a c h e r s . F o r t h e d i s t r i c t , the major f i n a n c i a l e x p e n d i t u r e s i n c l u d e d t h e p u r c h a s e of t e s t m a t e r i a l s , d u p l i c a t i o n c o s t s , a n d t h e e m p l o y m e n t of s u b s t i t u t e staff required to  relieve k i n d e r g a r t e n  teachers during the  individual administration  of  the  Kindergarten Language Screening Test.  C.  SAMPLE T h e p a r t i c i p a t i n g d i s t r i c t is s i t u a t e d w i t h i n o n e h o u r ' s d r i v e of V a n c o u v e r ,  B . C . a n d p r o v i d e s b o t h rural a n d u r b a n h o u s i n g a n d e m p l o y m e n t for l o w , m i d d l e .  a n d u p p e r i n c o m e f a m i l i e s a n d i n d i v i d u a l s . M a n y e t h n i c g r o u p s are r e p r e s e n t e d . D i s t r i c t p u p i l e n r o l l m e n t a p p r o x i m a t e d 1 5 , 0 0 0 , r o u g h l y 1 , 0 0 0 s t u d e n t s at e a c h grade level.  D a t a f r o m 31 e l e m e n t a r y s c h o o l s is a v a i l a b l e for this s t u d y .  T h e 6 8 4 s u b j e c t s in this s t u d y are d r a w n f r o m o n e a g e c o h o r t to  be  a d m i n i s t e r e d b o t h t h e k i n d e r g a r t e n s c r e e n i n g m e a s u r e s a n d the c r i t e r i o n m e a s u r e four y e a r s later. Included w e r e 1 9 8 6 - 8 7 s t u d e n t s w h o r e m a i n e d in a t t e n d a n c e in the d i s t r i c t f o l l o w i n g their e n r o l m e n t in k i n d e r g a r t e n in 1 9 8 3 .  Subjects were  s e l e c t e d w h o s e r e c o r d s i n d i c a t e d c o m p l e t e or partial k i n d e r g a r t e n s c r e e n i n g r e s u l t s and third-grade standardized achievement test results. R e t e n t i o n w a s c o n s i d e r e d to be i n d i c a t i v e of learning d i f f i c u l t y a n d t h u s acted as one criterion measure.  The sample therefore included those students  retained o n e or m o r e y e a r s in a p r i m a r y g r a d e . S i m i l a r l y , a h i s t o r y of s c h o o l - b a s e d i n t e r v e n t i o n w a s c o n s i d e r e d a n o t h e r c r i t e r i o n m e a s u r e a n d s t u d e n t s k n o w n to h a v e r e c e i v e d i n t e r v e n t i o n w e r e i n c l u d e d .  D.  INSTRUMENTATION T h e s e l e c t e d k i n d e r g a r t e n s c r e e n i n g m e a s u r e s w e r e t h o u g h t to reflect t h e  d e v e l o p m e n t a l a r e a s c o n s i d e r e d b y t h e district to be influential i d e n t i f i c a t i o n o f e d u c a t i o n a l l y at-risk c h i l d r e n .  in t h e  early  Third-grade achievement scores  were obtained from a standardized achievement test administered routinely a c r o s s the d i s t r i c t at t h e e n d of the s c h o o l y e a r .  1.  Predictive IVIeasures T h e kindergarten screening battery included four measures as predictors.  T h e f o l l o w i n g i n s t r u m e n t s w e r e c h o s e n f o r their h y p o t h e s i z e d p r e d i c t i v e c o n t e n t . a.  Draw-A-Person  (DAP),  1963  T h i s brief t e s t is c o n s i d e r e d t o be a n i n d i c a t o r of n o n - v e r b a l c o g n i t i v e a b i l i t y . It w a s g r o u p a d m i n i s t e r e d a n d s c o r e d b y t h e t e a c h e r in N o v e m b e r o f t h e s c h o o l year.  Students w e r e instructed to d r a w a person and points were credited for  acceptable execution of various body parts. provided local norms.  A trial a d m i n i s t r a t i o n o f t h e t e s t  " F a i l u r e " s t a t u s w a s i n d i c a t e d b y a s c o r e o f 6 or less o u t  of a p o s s i b l e s c o r e o f 3 1 . The content of the district's D r a w - A - P e r s o n test w a s adapted from the Goodenough-Harris  Drawing  Test  (Harris,  1963) and included those  items  c o n s i d e r e d likely t o b e d r a w n b y p r i m a r y a n d y o u n g e r c h i l d r e n . T h e G o o d e n o u g h Harris t e s t ( G H D T ) is itself a r e v i s i o n o f t h e 1 9 2 6 D r a w - A - M a n T e s t ( G o o d e n o u g h , 1926).  T h e G H D T a d d i t i o n a l l y required t h e d r a w i n g o f a w o m a n a n d o f t h e self  a n d p r o v i d e d n e w e r n o r m s f o r a w i d e r a g e r a n g e a n d i n t r o d u c e d a d e v i a t i o n IQ score. T h e p u r p o s e o f t h e G H D T is t o m e a s u r e i n t e l l e c t u a l m a t u r i t y a n d t h e development of conceptual thinking w h i c h g r o w s with mental level, experience, and knowledge  (Harris, 1 9 6 3 ) .  It is c o n s i d e r e d a c c e p t a b l e a s a s c r e e n i n g  i n s t r u m e n t o f c o g n i t i v e ability, m o s t e f f e c t i v e in t h e l o w e r r a n g e s o f i n t e l l i g e n c e , but  it d o e s n o t i n d i c a t e a n a c t u a l  measure of intelligence  n o r reflect  the  d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g p o w e r o f m o r e a c c u r a t e t e s t s o f i n t e l l i g e n c e (Sattler, 1 9 8 8 ) . A s  s u c h , its u s e a s a s u p p l e m e n t a r y i n s t r u m e n t o f c o g n i t i v e ability or its i n t e g r a t i o n into a b a t t e r y o f t e s t s c a n be r e c o m m e n d e d . F u r t h e r , it h a s b e e n c o n s i d e r e d l e s s c u l t u r a l l y l o a d e d for u s e w i t h e t h n i c m i n o r i t i e s , t h o u g h t h e e m p h a s e s w h i c h different  c u l t u r e s p l a c e u p o n b o d y parts a n d c l o t h i n g is of note ( O a k l a n d &  Dowling, 1983).  T h e preferred a g e r a n g e for u s e o f t h i s i n s t r u m e n t is 3 t o 1 0  years, although the test spans ages 3-0 to 1 5 - 1 1 .  The standardization sample  included 2 , 9 7 5 A m e r i c a n children representative of the population as reflectd by t h e 1 9 5 0 c e n s u s a n d d i s t r i b u t e d a m o n g f o u r major g e o g r a p h i c a r e a s ( A n a s t a s i , 1972). D u n n ( 1 9 7 2 ) r e p o r t s t e s t - r e t e s t reliabilities for t h e D r a w - A - M a n a s r a n g i n g f r o m . 6 0 t o . 7 0 . S t u d i e s r e v i e w e d by S c o t t ( 1 9 8 1 ) i n d i c a t e a m e d i a n t e s t - r e t e s t reliability o f . 7 4 . A m e d i a n interrater reliability o f . 9 0 f o r D r a w - A - M a n a n d . 9 4 for D r a w - A - W o m a n are f u r t h e r r e p o r t e d b y S c o t t . D u n n (1972) remarks that m u c h of Harris' 1 9 6 3 reporting on validity and reliability r e f e r s t o  1 9 2 6 D r a w - A - M a n d a t a a n d t h a t t o o little i n f o r m a t i o n  available regarding the n e w e r drawing t a s k s .  is  Naglieri ( 1 9 8 8 ) a n d o t h e r s c i t e  research w h i c h d e m o n s t r a t e s correlation of the G H D T w i t h intelligence tests s u c h as t h e W e c h s l e r a n d B i n e t s c a l e s ( D u n n , 1 9 6 7 ; N a g l i e r i & M a x w e l l , 1 9 8 1 ; T r a m i l l , Edwards, & Tramill, 1980). indicate that  the  S a t t l e r ( 1 9 8 8 ) refers t o S c o t t ' s ( 1 9 8 1 ) r e v i e w t o  Draw-A-Man Test  can effectively  discriminate  age  level  p e r f o r m a n c e f r o m a g e s 5 t o 1 2 , but is relatively p o o r at p r e d i c t i n g s c o r e s o n o t h e r intelligence tests (median correlation of .49).  Criticism  of  the  test  typically  includes  requests  for  more  current  s t a n d a r d i z a t i o n , m o d e r n i z a t i o n of s c o r i n g g u i d e l i n e s , a n d a s u g g e s t i o n b y S a t t l e r (1988)  a n d S c o t t ( 1 9 8 1 ) t h a t the t h e n o r m s be refined t o i n c l u d e half- a n d  q u a r t e r - y e a r l y i n t e r v a l s rather t h a n y e a r l y i n t e r v a l s . b.  Kindergarten Language Screening Test (KLST),  1978  T h e K i n d e r g a r t e n L a n g u a g e S c r e e n i n g T e s t is a n o r m e d t e s t d e s i g n e d t o compare  the  verbal  language  abilities  of  kindergarten  children  with  levels  c o n s i d e r e d a p p r o p r i a t e for their a g e a n d g r a d e . T h i s i n s t r u m e n t w a s i n d i v i d u a l l y a d m i n i s t e r e d b y t h e k i n d e r g a r t e n t e a c h e r in J a n u a r y of t h e s c h o o l y e a r . T o e n s u r e a c c u r a c y , t e a c h e r s w e r e e n c o u r a g e d , but not r e q u i r e d , t o t a p e - r e c o r d r e s p o n s e s . The manual (Gauthier & M a d i s o n , 1983) states that tasks reflect both receptive and expressive language c o m p e t e n c e .  The competencies include: stating name  and a g e ; naming four specific colors; c o u n t i n g , w i t h pointing, to t e n ; identifying four n a m e d b o d y p a r t s ; f o l l o w i n g  three-part  oral s e q u e n t i a l c o m m a n d s  with  k n o w l e d g e of p r e p o s i t i o n s n o t e d ; r e p e a t i n g s e n t e n c e s ; a n d o f f e r i n g a s p o n t a n e o u s s p e e c h sample following presentation of a picture series.  T h e s e s e v e n items  r e p r e s e n t e d a p o s s i b l e s c o r e of 2 9 , of w h i c h 1 9 or l e s s s i g n i f i e d " f a i l u r e " s t a t u s . T h e intent o f t h e K L S T is to i n d i c a t e t h e p r o b a b i l i t y of a l a n g u a g e d e f i c i t a n d t h e n e e d f o r m o r e i n t e n s i v e t e s t i n g b e f o r e d e f e c t i v e skills m i g h t p o s s i b l y a c c e l e r a t e a c a d e m i c failure (Gauthier & M a d i s o n , 1 9 8 3 ) .  The authors support the concept  t h a t t h e d e v e l o p m e n t of oral l a n g u a g e skills is p r e r e q u i s i t e t o t h e  use and  u n d e r s t a n d i n g of w r i t t e n l a n g u a g e a n d e n a b l e s c h i l d r e n to a c h i e v e s u c c e s s in school.  T h e t e s t m a n u a l reports c o n s t r u c t v a l i d i t y c o r r e l a t i o n s ranging f r o m . 3 6 to . 6 0 (each s i g n i f i c a n t at t h e . 0 5 level or better) b e t w e e n the K L S T a n d t h e U t a h T e s t of L a n g u a g e D e v e l o p m e n t ( M e c h a m , J e x , & J o n e s , 1 9 6 7 ) a s w e l l a s t h r e e subtests (Auditory Closure, Grammatic Closure, and Verbal Expression) of the Illinois T e s t o f P s y c h o l i n g u i s t i c A b i l i t i e s (Kirk, M c C a r t h y , & Kirk, 1 9 6 8 ) .  These  s u b t e s t s w e r e c h o s e n f o r their similarity t o s k i l l s r e f l e c t e d in t h e K L S T t a s k s .  A  c o r r e l a t i o n of . 7 0 is r e p o r t e d b e t w e e n the B o e h m T e s t of B a s i c C o n c e p t s ( B o e h m , 1971) and the K L S T . In r e s e a r c h i n g t h e p r e d i c t i v e v a l i d i t y of t h e K L S T , the a u t h o r s s t u d i e d t h e p r o g r e s s o f 3 0 o f 2 3 3 s t u d e n t s w h o had t w o a n d a half y e a r s p r e v i o u s l y r e c e i v e d t e s t s c o r e s of 9 - 1 9 .  R e s u l t s i n d i c a t e d t h a t 9 ( 3 6 % ) s t u d e n t s had b e e n r e t a i n e d ,  7 ( 2 5 % ) w e r e p l a c e d in o r eligible for s p e c i a l e d u c a t i o n , a n d 6 (21 %) had r e c e i v e d remedial reading instruction.  A l t h o u g h a s s i g n e d t o o n l y o n e of t h e s e s u b g r o u p s ,  several students had received service within more than one category.  Summary  d a t a i n d i c a t e d t h a t 2 3 ( 8 2 % ) of the 3 0 original at-risk s t u d e n t s had e n c o u n t e r e d e d u c a t i o n a l d i f f i c u l t i e s , s e r v i n g to v a l i d a t e t h e u s e of t h e K L S T a s a p r e d i c t o r of lower language and academic functioning, lllerbraun, Haines, & Greenough (1985)  note that the  K L S T yielded a  correlation of ,68 w i t h a c o m p o s i t e criterion s c o r e derived from the c o m b i n e d use o f the T e s t of L a n g u a g e D e v e l o p o m e n t ( N e w c o m e r & H a m m e l l , 1 9 7 7 ) , t h e T e s t f o r A u d i t o r y C o m p r e h e n s i o n o f L a n g u a g e ( C a r r o w , 1 9 7 3 ) , a n d t h e C a r r o w Elicited Language Inventory (Carrow,  1974).  The KLST, however,  w a s the  poorest  p r e d i c t o r a m o n g tine 5 s c r e e n i n g m e a s u r e s t e s t e d (the o t h e r s r a n g i n g f r o m . 7 5 t o .85). T e s t - r e t e s t reliability d a t a y i e l d e d a s i g n i f i c a n t P e a r s o n c o e f f i c i e n t of . 8 7 in a s t u d y of 2 2 H e a d s t a r t s t u d e n t s r a n d o m l y s e l e c t e d f r o m a n original p o p u l a t i o n of 88 students. T h i s t e s t is not t o be c o n f u s e d w i t h a n o t h e r s c r e e n i n g m e a s u r e of t h e s a m e n a m e d e v i s e d f o r l o c a l u s e w i t h i n t h e L o n d o n (Ontario) B o a r d of E d u c a t i o n . A l t h o u g h s i m i l a r in c o n c e p t a n d w i t h s o m e s i m i l a r i t e m s , the O n t a r i o t e s t w a s normed for local conditions.  Its u s e , h o w e v e r , h a s b e e n r e p o r t e d in a s t u d y  utilizing a b a t t e r y of 4 s c r e e n i n g m e a s u r e s f o r p r e d i c t i o n of at-risk s t a t u s .  The  O n t a r i o K L S T w a s f o u n d t o b e s t s e l e c t s t u d e n t s requiring s p e c i a l e d u c a t i o n p l a c e m e n t ( S t o n e & T r e l o a r , 1 9 9 0 ) b y l o c a t i n g 2 5 of 9 8 s u b s e q u e n t l y identified e x c e p t i o n a l s t u d e n t s , o n l y 3 8 of w h i c h h a d a c t u a l l y b e e n s e l e c t e d b y t h e t o t a l battery.  T h e s e a u t h o r s s u g g e s t t h a t t h e l e v e l of v e r b a l c o m p r e h e n s i o n a n d  e x p r e s s i v e ability a p p a r e n t l y c o n t a i n e d in t h e O n t a r i o K L S T i t e m s r e p r e s e n t s a broad c o n c e p t u a l domain and serves to indicate the effect w h i c h language facility can have on educational placement. T h e K L S T u n d e r d i s c u s s i o n in this s t u d y is b e c o m i n g m o r e w i d e l y a d o p t e d as i n c r e a s i n g n u m b e r s of s c r e e n i n g t e s t s are e m e r g i n g for u s e w i t h s c h o o l - a g e d children.  T e x t b o o k s c o n c e r n e d w i t h s p e c i a l e d u c a t i o n a n d learning d i s a b i l i t i e s  m a k e c u r r e n t r e f e r e n c e to t h e K L S T , a l t h o u g h little i n f o r m a t i o n a p p e a r s r e g a r d i n g e m p i r i c a l e v a l u a t i o n (Berdine & M e y e r , 1 9 8 7 ) .  c.  Mann-Suiter  Visual Motor Screen (MS),  1974  T h i s s i m p l e s c r e e n i n g d e v i c e , i n d i c a t i v e of t h e ability to r e c o g n i z e a n d p r o d u c e g e o m e t r i c s h a p e s , w a s a d m i n i s t e r e d in g r o u p s of five in J a n u a r y o f t h e s c h o o l y e a r . Integration of v i s u a l a n d m o t o r skills is d e m o n s t r a t e d by c o p y i n g f o u r geometric figures ( M a n n , Suiter & M c C l u n g , 1 9 7 9 ) . attempts to c o p y e a c h figure.  S u b j e c t s are a l l o w e d t h r e e  T h e y are n o t p e r m i t t e d to e r a s e their m i s t a k e s .  N o r m e d w i t h r e f e r e n c e t o c h r o n o l o g i c a l a g e a s s u g g e s t e d b y llg & A m e s ( 1 9 6 4 ) , e a c h s h a p e r e p r e s e n t s p e r f o r m a n c e a p p r o p r i a t e for p r o g r e s s i v e a g e s :  circle, 3  y e a r s ; r e c t a n g l e , 4 y e a r s ; t r i a n g l e , girls 5 1/2 y e a r s a n d b o y s 6 y e a r s ; a n d d i a m o n d , 6 y e a r s . T e a c h e r s e v a l u a t e r e s p o n s e s a c c o r d i n g t o s c o r i n g g u i d e l i n e s for t h e e x e c u t i o n of b a s i c s h a p e s , l i n e s , a n d a n g l e s . M i n o r i n f r a c t i o n s are o v e r l o o k e d . In t h e p r e s e n t s t u d y a s c o r e of 2 or l e s s o f a p o s s i b l e 4 identified " f a i l u r e . " C o p y i n g o f g e o m e t r i c s h a p e s is r e p o r t e d b y S a t t l e r ( 1 9 8 8 ) to be i n d i c a t i v e of a p p r o p r i a t e p e r c e p t u a l d i s c r i m i n a t i o n ability (input), fine m o t o r  development  ( o u t p u t ) , a n d t h e ability t o integrate b o t h t h e s e p r o c e s s e s w h i l e s h i f t i n g a t t e n t i o n b e t w e e n t h e original a n d the c o p y (storage a n d retrieval). V a r i a b l e s a f f e c t i n g p o o r f u n c t i o n i n g m i g h t i n c l u d e b i o l o g i c a l , e n v i r o n m e n t a l , i n t e l l e c t u a l , or e x p e r i e n t i a l sources. The  Mann-Suiter Visual Motor  Screen (MS)  is o n e  of  a  number  of  d e v e l o p m e n t a l s c r e e n i n g d e v i c e s first p u b l i s h e d b y t h e a u t h o r s in 1 9 7 4 f o r the purpose  of  focusing  on  particular  developmental  areas.  These areas  are  i n v e s t i g a t e d to a s c e r t a i n m i n i m u m l e v e l s of r e a d i n e s s rather t h a n a s m e a s u r e s of limited ability ( M a n n , S u i t e r & M c C l u n g , 1 9 8 7 ) . W i t h i n t h i s d i a g n o s t i c - p r e s c r i p t i v e  framework,  evaluation  of  individual  learning characteristics w a s  considered  e s s e n t i a l t o a n y s u b s e q u e n t d i a g n o s i s or d e s i g n o f i n d i v i d u a l e d u c a t i o n a l p r o g r a m s . A p t i t u d e f o r a c q u i r i n g c e r t a i n k n o w l e d g e a n d skills w a s n o t e d a s b e i n g a s i m p o r t a n t a s t h e a c t u a l p e r f o r m a n c e c a p a c i t y . S u c c e s s f u l c o m p l e t i o n of the v i s u a l motor  screen also indicated  minimal  s t a n d a r d s for  success  in  handwriting.  D i f f i c u l t y after t h e a g e of 7 s u g g e s t e d p r o g r a m m i n g r e q u i r e m e n t s for p r a c t i c e in eye-hand readiness skills. C r i t e r i o n for m i n i m a l f u n c t i o n i n g in e i g h t e e n d e v e l o p m e n t a l s c r e e n i n g a r e a s w e r e i d e n t i f i e d b y t h e a u t h o r s after a n e x t e n s i v e r e v i e w o f s t a n d a r d i z e d t e s t s . T h e normative  p o p u l a t i o n c o n s i s t e d of 4 3 6 s t u d e n t s a g e d 4 t h r o u g h  12  having  borderline o r a b o v e i n t e l l i g e n c e a n d r e p r e s e n t i n g a r a n g e of s o c i o e c o n o m i c l e v e l s and ethnicities.  T e a c h e r s r e p o r t e d 2 9 1 s t u d e n t s t o be failing in s c h o o l . R e s u l t s  w e r e a n a l y z e d b y relating s c r e e n i n g p e r f o r m a n c e t o s p e c i f i c skills required for s u c c e s s in r e a d i n g , w r i t i n g , s p e l l i n g , a n d a r i t h m e t i c . T h e majority of s t u d e n t s w h o failed t h e v i s u a l m o t o r s c r e e n w e r e f o u n d to a l s o h a v e d i f f i c u l t y w i t h h a n d w r i t i n g . T h u s , t h o s e s t u d e n t s w h o h a d no s u c h d i f f i c u l t y p r o v i d e d the l o w e r limit n o r m s for s u c c e s s o n this s c r e e n i n g d e v i c e .  O v e r a l l , t h e m a j o r i t y of t h e a c a d e m i c a l l y  s u c c e s s f u l s t u d e n t s m e t t h e m i n i m u m s t a n d a r d for all of t h e a r e a s , w h i l e the m a j o r i t y o f failing s t u d e n t s failed to m e e t the s t a n d a r d . Initial c o n t e n t v a l i d i t y of t h e s c r e e n i n g d e v i c e s w a s e s t a b l i s h e d o v e r a two-year  period by more than 2 0 0 teachers, counsellors, and psychologists  t h r o u g h t h e u s e of t h e m e a s u r e s in a d d i t i o n t o o t h e r m e a s u r e s a l r e a d y e m p l o y e d in the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n  of l e a r n i n g p r o b l e m s ( M a n n , S u i t e r & M c C l u n g ,  1987).  F u r t h e r , a s u r v e y o f m a n y of the t h o u s a n d s of e d u c a t o r s w h o h a v e u s e d t h e d e v i c e s s i n c e 1 9 7 4 h a s i n d i c a t e d their v a l u e in s c r e e n i n g for learning d i f f i c u l t i e s . d.  The Deverell Test of Letters and Numbers (DLN), formally The Beginners' Classification Tests, 1974: Form 1G, Form 2G, Form 3G,  Deverell  Knowledge of Numbers Knowledge of Capital Letters Knowledge of Lower Case Letters.  T h i s b a t t e r y of t e s t s , i n d i c a t i v e of t h e ability t o identify the n u m b e r s  1-12  a n d e a c h letter of the a l p h a b e t (upper a n d l o w e r c a s e ) , w a s g r o u p a d m i n i s t e r e d in M a y of t h e s c h o o l y e a r .  In r e s p o n s e to orally p r e s e n t e d n u m b e r s (or  letters),  s t u d e n t s w e r e i n s t r u c t e d t o c i r c l e the c o r r e c t n u m b e r f r o m a m o n g a s a m p l e of f o u r n o n - s e q u e n t i a l c h o i c e s (or five letter c h o i c e s ) per i t e m ( D e v e r e l l , 1 9 7 4 ) . administration w a s utilized.  Group  A s c o r e of 5 4 or l e s s of a p o s s i b l e s c o r e of  64  indicated "failure" status. R e s e a r c h h a s l o n g r e p o r t e d t h a t k n o w l e d g e of letter n a m e s a n d f o r m a t i o n is p r e d i c t i v e of a c a d e m i c a n d , in p a r t i c u l a r , r e a d i n g s u c c e s s ( B u s c h , 1 9 8 0 ; D u r r e l l , 1 9 5 8 ; D y k s t r a , 1 9 6 7 ; J a n s k y & d e H i r s c h , 1 9 7 2 ; S a t z , T a y l o r , Friel & F l e t c h e r , 1 9 7 9 ) . D e v e r e l l , h o w e v e r , c o n s i d e r e d t h e c a p a c i t y of a n e a r l y s c h o o l t e s t b a t t e r y to identify t h e c u r r e n t l y required i n s t r u c t i o n a l level of t h e s t u d e n t to be m o r e i m p o r t a n t t h a n its v a l u e a s a p r e d i c t o r of later a c h i e v e m e n t . C o n s t r u c t i o n of t h e  D L N indicated  differentiation  among students  e x t e n d i n g their p e r f o r m a n c e a l o n g a s c a l e f r o m little or no u n d e r s t a n d i n g  by of  s y m b o l s t o a w e l l d e v e l o p e d ability. N u m b e r r e c o g n i t i o n w a s i n t r o d u c e d t o r e d u c e t h e l a c k of d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n  a m o n g very l o w letter-identification  scores.  It w a s  s h o w n t h a t p r e - s c h o o l e r s learn n u m b e r digits m o r e e a s i l y t h a n l e t t e r s , t h u s their inclusion  helped to  differentiate  many  of  the  lowest  scoring children.  A  s u p p l e m e n t a r y w o r d r e c o g n i t i o n t e s t is s i m i l a r l y a v a i l a b l e for u s e w i t h c h i l d r e n a t t a i n i n g h i g h s c o r e s in b o t h letter a n d n u m b e r k n o w l e d g e .  The battery also  i n c l u d e s a f o u r t h f o r m , letter w r i t i n g , w h i c h w a s not e m p l o y e d b y t h e  target  district. T h e b a t t e r y is c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of a p o w e r t e s t in t h a t items o f e a c h f o r m are arranged  in a  themselves  gradually ascending order  of  difficulty.  are p r e s e n t e d in similar o r d e r w i t h  number  Further, the  forms  identification  being  c o n s i d e r e d e a s i e r t h a n u p p e r c a s e letters, a n d t h e latter c o n s i d e r e d e a s i e r t h a n l o w e r c a s e l e t t e r s . T h e a u t h o r s u g g e s t s o p t i m a l t i m i n g for t e s t a d m i n i s t r a t i o n t o be in t h e s p r i n g o f t h e k i n d e r g a r t e n y e a r .  T h e d i s t r i c t a d m i n i s t e r e d t h i s t e s t in  May. 2.  Criterion Measures C r i t e r i o n d a t a w e r e p r o v i d e d b y t h e C a n a d i a n T e s t s of B a s i c S k i l l s ( C T B S )  w h i c h w a s routinely  a d m i n i s t e r e d at y e a r e n d b y c l a s s r o o m t e a c h e r s t o  all  third-grade students.  R e t e n t i o n of o n e or m o r e y e a r s in a p r i m a r y g r a d e a n d a  h i s t o r y o f s c h o o l - b a s e d r e m e d i a l i n t e r v e n t i o n w e r e a l s o c o n s i d e r e d to be i n d i c a t i v e o f s c h o o l d i f f i c u l t y a n d t h u s w e r e e m p l o y e d a s criterion i n d i c e s .  Canadian Tests of Basic Sl<ills (CTBS),  1976,  (Level 9, Form 51.  T h e C a n a d i a n T e s t s of B a s i c S k i l l s h a v e b e e n u s e d w i d e l y t h r o u g h o u t s c h o o l s y s t e m s in C a n a d a f o r s t a n d a r d i z e d t e s t i n g of g e n e r a l learning a c h i e v e m e n t .  A d m i n i s t e r e d in M a y w i t l i i n t l i e p a r t i c i p a t i n g d i s t r i c t , t h e m u l t i l e v e l e d i t i o n for grades 3-8 comprises a comprehensive battery using a multiple-choice format.  It  m e a s u r e s skills in f i v e major a r e a s c o n s i d e r e d t o o v e r l a p t h r o u g h o u t t h e g r a d e s . These  are  vocabulary,  language,  reading  comprehension,  work-study  and  m a t h e m a t i c s s k i l l s . A c o m p o s i t e s c o r e is c a l c u l a t e d a n d w a s e m p l o y e d in t h i s study.  R a w s c o r e s are c o n v e r t e d to d e v e l o p m e n t a l s c o r e s (grade e q u i v a l e n t s ) or  to s t a t u s s c o r e s (stanines or p e r c e n t i l e r a n k s ) . It w a s u s e f u l t o t h i s s t u d y to s e l e c t percentile r a n k s for c o m p a r a t i v e p u r p o s e s .  P e r f o r m a n c e w a s c o n s i d e r e d t o be  s a t i s f a c t o r y a b o v e t h e 2 5 t h p e r c e n t i l e , a n d t h e r e f o r e u n s a t i s f a c t o r y at or b e l o w the 2 5 t h p e r c e n t i l e . T h e C T B S are a n a d a p t a t i o n of t h e I o w a T e s t s of B a s i c S k i l l s ( L i n d q u i s t , H i e r o n y m u s , & H o o v e r , 1 9 5 5 ) . T h e d e s i g n a n d c o n s t r u c t i o n o f the C a n a d i a n t e s t s w e r e d e v e l o p e d b y t h e s t a f f at t h e U n i v e r s i t y o f I o w a ' s C o l l e g e of E d u c a t i o n u n d e r the d i r e c t i o n of D r . Ethel K i n g of the U n i v e r s i t y o f C a l g a r y . A n u m b e r o f r e v i s i o n s w e r e n e c e s s a r y t o c r e a t e t e s t s s u i t a b l e for u s e in C a n a d i a n s c h o o l s . T e a c h e r ' s g u i d e s , m a n u a l s for a d m i n i s t r a t o r s , s u p e r v i s o r s , a n d c o u n s e l o r s , t e c h n i c a l m a n u a l s , a n d o t h e r m a t e r i a l s h a v e b e e n p u b l i s h e d . M e t r i c e d i t i o n s are a v a i l a b l e . F o r m s 1 a n d 2 of t h e C T B S w e r e p u b l i s h e d in 1 9 6 6 , F o r m s 3 a n d 4 in 1 9 7 4 , a n d F o r m 5 in 1 9 8 3 . T h e 1 9 7 3 s t a n d a r d i z a t i o n w a s b a s e d o n a stratified r a n d o m s a m p l e of m o r e than 3 0 , 0 0 0 students from 2 2 5 s c h o o l s selected to represent C a n a d a ' s Englishd o m i n a n t s c h o o l p o p u l a t i o n ( B i r c h , 1 9 7 2 ) . Reliability c o e f f i c i e n t s for t h e s u b t e s t s w e r e f o u n d to fall b e t w e e n . 8 8 a n d . 9 8 .  V a l i d i t y d a t a are not r e p o r t e d .  It is  s u g g e s t e d t h a t v a l i d i t y be j u d g e d in relation t o d e s i r e d p u r p o s e a n d r e s t s u p o n t h e i n s t r u c t i o n a l o b j e c t i v e s o f i n d i v i d u a l s c h o o l s or r e g i o n s . The  s t a n d a r d i z a t i o n w a s c o n d u c t e d j o i n t l y w i t h t h a t of t h e C a n a d i a n  C o g n i t i v e A b i l i t e s T e s t ( T h o r n d i k e a n d H a g e n , 1 9 8 4 ) t o a t t e m p t interpretation o f a c h i e v e m e n t t e s t s c o r e s in relation t o p e r f o r m a n c e at t h e s a m e g r a d e a n d s a m e c o g n i t i v e a p t i t u d e l e v e l . A similar n a t i o n a l s t a n d a r d i z a t i o n p r o g r a m w a s c a r r i e d o u t in t h e fall o f 1 9 8 0 i n v o l v i n g 3 1 , 1 3 7 s t u d e n t s f r o m 1 0 2 C a n a d i a n s c h o o l s u n d e r the  direction  of  Edgar Wright  of  the  Toronto,  Ontario  B o a r d of  Education  (Thorndike and H a g e n , 1 9 8 4 ) . B i r c h ( 1 9 7 2 ) c o n s i d e r s the t e c h n i c a l s t a t u s of t h e C T B S t o be u n d o u b t a b l e due to  its  respected antecedent.  Salvia  and  Y s s e l d y k e (1981)  report  the  d e v e l o p m e n t of the I T B S t o be s a t i s f a c t o r y a n d its reliability to be a d e q u a t e w h e n b a s e d o n internal c o n s i s t e n c y . In c o n t r a s t , B u t l e r ( 1 9 8 1 ) a r g u e s t h a t t h e C T B S does not satisfactorily measure C a n a d i a n content and that a t e a c h e r ' s personal k n o w l e d g e of t h e c o m p r e h e n s i v e r a n g e of a s t u d e n t ' s skills a n d i n t e r e s t s far outweighs  what  he  considers to  be c u l t u r a l l y - b i a s e d  results  of  a test  of  q u e s t i o n a b l e reliability a n d v a l i d i t y .  E.  P R O C E D U R E FOR D A T A COLLECTION A N D CODING D a t a w a s o b t a i n e d for 1 9 8 3 - 8 4 k i n d e r g a r t e n e n t r y pupils v i a p e r u s a l of  i n d i v i d u a l p e r m a n e n t r e c o r d c a r d s a n d s t u d e n t files at e a c h o f 31 s c h o o l s . S u b j e c t s w e r e a s s i g e d a n u m e r i c a l i d e n t i f i c a t i o n rather t h a n listed by n a m e in order t o m a i n t a i n c o n f i d e n t i a l i t y a n d t o a s s i s t in d a t a a n a l y s i s .  Permanent record cards provided information  regarding e a c h s u b j e c t ' s  history of r e m e d i a l i n t e r v e n t i o n or r e t e n t i o n , a s w e l l a s the c o m p o s i t e p e r c e n t i l e rank s c o r e a t t a i n e d o n t h e t h i r d - g r a d e c r i t e r i o n m e a s u r e of a c h i e v e m e n t . T h e C a n a d i a n T e s t s of B a s i c S k i l l s ( C T B S ) . P e r f o r m a n c e o n t h e C T B S w a s c o n s i d e r e d to be s a t i s f a c t o r y a b o v e the 2 5 t h p e r c e n t i l e , t h e r e b y u n s a t i s f a c t o r y at t h e 2 5 t h percentile o r b e l o w . " A t - r i s k " s t u d e n t s w e r e m o r e likely to be identified w i t h i n t h i s range. S t u d e n t files w e r e a l s o r e v i e w e d f o r i n d i c a t i o n s of e d u c a t i o n a l i n t e r v e n t i o n . A s c h o o l s u r v e y listing e a c h s u b j e c t w a s c o m p l e t e d b y c u r r e n t learning a s s i s t a n c e t e a c h e r s t o c o r r o b o r a t e or a d d t o a k n o w n h i s t o r y of r e m e d i a l  intervention  e x p e r i e n c e d by t h e s u b j e c t s i n v o l v e d . R e m e d i a l i n t e r v e n t i o n w a s , f o r t h e p u r p o s e s of this s t u d y , i n c l u s i v e of learning a s s i s t a n c e , s p e e c h a n d l a n g u a g e t h e r a p y , d i a g n o s t i c t e a c h i n g , a n d training in E n g l i s h a s a S e c o n d L a n g u a g e . S t u d e n t files a l s o s u p p l i e d s u m m a r y s h e e t s i n d i c a t i n g s c o r e s o b t a i n e d b y e a c h s u b j e c t for the f o l l o w i n g k i n d e r g a r t e n s c r e e n i n g m e a s u r e s : D r a w - A - P e r s o n (DAP), Kindergarten Language Screening Test (KLST), Mann-Suiter Visual Motor S c r e e n ( M S ) , a n d the D e v e r e l l T e s t o f L e t t e r s a n d N u m b e r s ( D L N ) . The above information w a s entered on the University Mainframe computing s y s t e m a n d the S t a t i s t i c a l P a c k a g e for S o c i a l S c i e n c e - E x t e n d e d V e r s i o n ( S P S S X ) , Release 3 . 0 w a s employed to assist data analysis. S a t i s f a c t o r y s c o r e s a s p r e v i o u s l y d e s c r i b e d for e a c h s c r e e n i n g m e a s u r e w e r e t h e n c o d e d a s 0 , u n s a t i s f a c t o r y s c o r e s a s 1. C o m p o s i t e s c r e e n i n g c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s w e r e c o d e d a s 0 t o r e p r e s e n t " n o n - r i s k " or a s 1 t o r e p r e s e n t " r i s k " w h e n t w o or  m o r e i n d i v i d u a l m e a s u r e s w e r e f a i l e d . C o d i n g in t h i s m a n n e r r e f l e c t s t h e o r i g i n of risk i d e n t i f i c a t i o n w i t h i n t h e m e d i c a l field w h e r e p o s i t i v e results infer  problem  existence.  F.  D A T A ANALYSIS The University Computing Centre's S S P S X program w a s employed to obtain  2 X 2 prediction-performance matrices used to investigate the relationship b e t w e e n kindergarten screening and third-grade achievement measures. For e a c h kindergarten screening measure as well as the c o m p o s i t e screening classification  (predictive  measures),  crosstabulations  with  the  criterion  achievement test (performance measure) provided decision matrices indicating the n u m b e r of s u b j e c t s w h o a t t a i n e d :  Quadrant A : unsatisfactory results o n the predictive m e a s u r e ; u n s a t i s f a c t o r y r e s u l t s o n t h e c r i t e r i o n m e a s u r e (true p o s i t i v e s , T + ) Q u a d r a n t B: unsatisfactory results on the predictive m e a s u r e ; s a t i s f a c t o r y r e s u l t s o n t h e c r i t e r i o n m e a s u r e (false p o s i t i v e s , F-I-) Quadrant C: satisfactory results on the predictive m e a s u r e ; u n s a t i s f a c t o r y r e s u l t s o n t h e c r i t e r i o n m e a s u r e (false n e g a t i v e s , F-). Q u a d r a n t D: satisfactory results on the predictive measure; s a t i s f a c t o r y results o n t h e c r i t e r i o n m e a s u r e (true n e g a t i v e s , T-)  T w o further matrices w e r e developed to investigate the relationship b e t w e e n the c o m p o s i t e screening classification and student history of school-based remedial i n t e r v e n t i o n a s w e l l a s s t u d e n t h i s t o r y of r e t e n t i o n of o n e or m o r e y e a r s in a primary grade.  B o t h h o r i z o n t a l a n d v e r t i c a l e v a l u a t i o n of e a c h nnatrix a l l o w e d  manual  t a b u l a t i o n of p e r c e n t a g e s i n d i c a t i v e of the p r e d i c t i v e a c c u r a c y (utility) of  the  s c r e e n i n g c l a s s i f i c a t i o n d e c i s i o n s (risk/no-risk) i n c l u d i n g s e n s i t i v i t y a n d s p e c i f i c i t y indices. A l s o c a l c u l a t e d for c o m p a r i s o n p u r p o s e s w e r e t h e b a s e rates (the p r e v a l e n c e of  a particular  problem condition  within a given population),  referral  rates  ( p e r c e n t a g e of s t u d e n t s c l a s s i f i e d b y s c r e e n i n g a s a t - r i s k ) , a n d o v e r a l l hit r a t e s ( p e r c e n t a g e of s u b j e c t s a c c u r a t e l y identified b o t h at-risk a n d n o n - r i s k ) .  IV.  A.  RESULTS  INTRODUCTION T h i s c h a p t e r p r e s e n t s the results of d e c i s i o n matrix a n a l y s i s utilized to  investigate  the  predictive  validity  and  utility of f o u r  kindergarten  measures and composite screening classification decisions.  screening  The chapter also  d e s c r i b e s s e v e n a c h i e v e d s a m p l e s g e n e r a t e d b y t h e a v a i l a b l e d a t a . D i s c u s s i o n of the f i n d i n g s a n d r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s for f u t u r e r e s e a r c h are p r e s e n t e d in C h a p t e r 5 .  B.  ACHIEVED SAMPLES D a t a w a s c o l l e c t e d for 1 9 8 3 - 8 4 k i n d e r g a r t e n e n t r y s t u d e n t s w h o r e m a i n e d  e n r o l l e d in t h e t a r g e t d i s t r i c t in 1 9 8 6 - 8 7 . T h e 6 8 4 s u b j e c t s of the s t u d y i n c l u d e d t h o s e c h i l d r e n w h o s e r e c o r d s p r o v i d e d k i n d e r g a r t e n s c r e e n i n g d a t a for o n e or m o r e of t h e f o u r m e a s u r e s a d m i n i s t e r e d a n d t h i r d - g r a d e s t a n d a r d i z e d a c h i e v e m e n t t e s t r e s u l t s . A d d i t i o n a l d a t a i n c l u d e d h i s t o r y of s c h o o l - b a s e d i n t e r v e n t i o n or r e t e n t i o n . A l l s u b j e c t s did not h a v e a s c o r e for e a c h s c r e e n i n g m e a s u r e , t h e r e f o r e t h e n u m b e r o f s u b j e c t s per a c h i e v e d s a m p l e v a r i e d (Table 1).  Table 1.  Number of Subjects in Seven Achieved Samples  F 1  Predictor  Criterion  576  DAP  CTBS  601  KLST  CTBS  MS  CTBS  DLN  CTBS  592  Screening Composite  CTBS  663  Screening Composite  Retention Status  Screening Composite  History of Intervention  596  || 606  1 C.  663  RESULTS Results  of  decision  matrix  a n a l y s e s are  presented  for  four  research  q u e s t i o n s . Referral r a t e s , b a s e r a t e s , o v e r a l l hit r a t e s , a n d h o r i z o n t a l a n d v e r t i c a l e v a l u a t i o n s are r e p o r t e d in p e r c e n t a g e s . The  referral  rate  represents the  percentage of  students  predicited  by  s c r e e n i n g t o be at-risk. T h e b a s e rate r e p r e s e n t s t h e a c t u a l p e r c e n t a g e o f s t u d e n t s w h o s e criterion performance indicated learning problems. Four  possible  relationships  exist  between  screening  and  criterion  performance:  T r u e P o s i t i v e (T-I-) F a l s e P o s i t i v e (F-i-) T r u e N e g a t i v e (T-) F a l s e N e g a t i v e (F-)  poor poor good good  screening/poor criterion s c r e e n i n g / g o o d c r i t e r i o n (over-referral) screening/good criterion s c r e e n i n g / p o o r c r i t e r i o n (under-referral).  C u t - o f f or d e c i s i o n p o i n t s b e l o w w h i c h p e r f o r m a n c e w a s c o n s i d e r e d t o be u n s a t i s f a c t o r y w e r e p r e - s e t b y t h e d i s t r i c t for t h e i n d i v i d u a l k i n d e r g a r t e n s c r e e n i n g measures. T h e D r a w - A - P e r s o n e m p l o y e d district norms d e v e l o p e d from previous administration  of  the  measure.  The  cut-off  for  third-grade  achievement  e n c o m p a s s e d t h o s e c h i l d r e n p e r f o r m i n g w i t h i n t h e b o t t o m quartile. A s t u d e n t w a s c o n s i d e r e d t o be at-risk w h e n p e r f o r m i n g u n s a t i s f a c t o r i l y o n t w o or m o r e s c r e e n i n g m e a s u r e s . 1.  Predictive Accuracy o f Individual Kindergarten Screening Measures Q u e s t i o n 1 : H o w accurately d o e s e a c h of the four kindergarten s c r e e n i n g  m e a s u r e s i n d i v i d u a l l y p r e d i c t s t u d e n t s at-risk or not at-risk for f u t u r e s c h o o l d i f f i c u l t i e s a s m e a s u r e d by t h i r d - g r a d e p e r f o r m a n c e o n a s t a n d a r d i z e d a c h i e v e m e n t t e s t ( C a n a d i a n T e s t s o f B a s i c S k i l l s , or C T B S ) ? a.  Dra w-A -Person D e c i s i o n m a t r i x a n a l y s i s of t h e r e s u l t s o f t h e D r a w - A - P e r s o n a n d C T B S  a d m i n i s t r a t i o n are p r e s e n t e d in F i g u r e 3 .  Figure 3 .  Draw-A-Person: Accuracy of RisIt Identification per C T B S Performance Utilizing Decision Matrix Analysis (n = 576)  C T B S Performance Draw-A-Person Screening  Risl<  Unsatisfactory  Satisfactory  6  19  (T + )  * H (24%) * * V (8%)  H (76%) V (4%)  (Sensitivity)  (over-referral)  69 No-Risic  (F-)  482  H (13%) V (92%)  H (87%) V (96%)  (under-referral)  (Specificity)  75 Referral R a t e = 4 % * H = Horizontal evaluation  {F + )  501  Base Rate = 1 3 %  25  (T-) 551  n = 576  O v e r a l l Hit R a t e = 8 5 % * * V = Vertical evaluation  T r u e P o s i t i v e s : F i g u r e 3 i n d i c a t e s t h a t 4 % of the a c h i e v e d k i n d e r g a r t e n s a m p l e ( 2 5 of n) w e r e p r e d i c t e d to be at-risk. accurately identified.  O f t h o s e , 2 4 % (6 of 2 5 ) w e r e  T h e s e s u b j e c t s r e p r e s e n t 8 % (6 of 7 5 ) of t h o s e s t u d e n t s  w h o a c t u a l l y p e r f o r m e d u n s a t i s f a c t o r i l y o n t h e c r i t e r i o n m e a s u r e . T h i s is t h e rate o f s e n s i t i v i t y of t h e s c r e e n i n g m e a s u r e . F a l s e P o s i t i v e s : C o n v e r s e l y , of t h o s e p r e d i c t e d to be at-risk, 7 6 % (19 of 2 5 ) w e r e n o n - r i s k a n d t h e r e f o r e i n a c c u r a t e l y identified o r o v e r - r e f e r r e d .  These  s u b j e c t s r e p r e s e n t 4 % ( 1 9 o f 5 0 1 ) o v e r - r e f e r r a l of t h o s e s t u d e n t s w h o a c t u a l l y performed satisfactorily on the criterion measure.  T r u e N e g a t i v e s : O f t h o s e p r e d i c t e d to be n o n - r i s k , 8 7 % ( 4 8 2 o f 5 5 1 ) w e r e accurately identified.  T h e s e s u b j e c t s r e p r e s e n t 9 6 % ( 4 8 2 of 5 0 1 ) of  those  s t u d e n t s w h o a c t u a l l y p e r f o r m e d s a t i s f a c t o r i l y o n the c r i t e r i o n m e a s u r e . T h i s is the rate o f s p e c i f i c i t y of t h e s c r e e n i n g m e a s u r e . F a l s e N e g a t i v e s : C o n v e r s e l y , o f t h o s e p r e d i c t e d t o be n o n - r i s k , 1 3 % ( 6 9 of 5 5 1 ) w e r e at-risk a n d t h e r e f o r e i n a c c u r a t e l y identified or u n d e r - r e f e r r e d .  These  s u b j e c t s r e p r e s e n t 9 2 % ( 6 9 o f 7 5 ) u n d e r - r e f e r r a l of t h o s e s t u d e n t s w h o a c t u a l l y performed unsatisfactorily on the criterion measure. A p r o b l e m b a s e rate o f 1 3 % w a s c a l c u l a t e d . T h e o v e r a l l hit rate e q u a l l e d 85%. b.  Kindergarten Language Screening Test D e c i s i o n m a t r i x a n a l y s i s of t h e r e s u l t s of t h e  Kindergarten Language  S c r e e n i n g T e s t a n d C T B S a d m i n i s t r a t i o n are p r e s e n t e d in F i g u r e 4 .  Figure 4.  Kindergarten Language Screening Test: Accuracy of Risic Identification per C T B S Performance Utilizing Decision IVIatrix Analysis (n = 601)  Kindergarten Language Screening Test  Risk  C T B S Performance Unsatisfactory  Satisfactory  15  27  (T + )  * H (36%) * * V (20%)  H (64%) V (5%)  (Sensitivity)  (over-referral)  61 No-Risk  Referral R a t e = 7 % * H = Horizontal evaluation  (F + )  (F-)  498  H (11%) V (80%)  H (89%) V (95%)  (under-referral)  (Specificity)  76  525  Base Rate = 1 3 %  42  (T-) 559  n = 6  O v e r a l l Hit R a t e = 8 5 % * * V = Vertical evaluation  T r u e P o s i t i v e s : F i g u r e 4 i n d i c a t e s t h a t 7 % of t h e a c h i e v e d k i n d e r g a r t e n s a m p l e ( 4 2 of n) w e r e p r e d i c t e d t o be at-risk.  O f t h o s e , 3 6 % (15 Of 4 2 ) w e r e  a c c u r a t e l y i d e n t i f i e d . T h e s e s u b j e c t s r e p r e s e n t 2 0 % (15 of 7 6 ) of t h o s e s t u d e n t s w h o a c t u a l l y p e r f o r m e d u n s a t i s f a c t o r i l y o n t h e c r i t e r i o n m e a s u r e . T h i s is the rate of s e n s i t i v i t y of the s c r e e n i n g m e a s u r e . F a l s e P o s i t i v e s : C o n v e r s e l y , of t h o s e p r e d i c t e d to be at-risk, 6 4 % (27 of 4 2 ) w e r e n o n - r i s k a n d t h e r e f o r e i n a c c u r a t e l y identified o r o v e r - r e f e r r e d .  These  s u b j e c t s r e p r e s e n t 5 % ( 2 7 of 5 2 5 ) o v e r - r e f e r r a l of t h o s e s t u d e n t s w h o a c t u a l l y performed satisfactorily on the criterion measure.  T r u e N e g a t i v e s : O f t h o s e p r e d i c t e d to be non-risl<, 8 9 % ( 4 9 8 of 5 5 9 ) w e r e a c c u r a t e l y i d e n t i f i e d . T h e s e s u b j e c t s r e p r e s e n t 9 5 % ( 4 9 8 of 5 2 5 ) of t h o s e w h o s t u d e n t s a c t u a l l y p e r f o r m e d s a t i s f a c t o r i l y o n t h e c r i t e r i o n m e a s u r e . T h i s is the rate of s p e c i f i c i t y o f the s c r e e n i n g m e a s u r e . F a l s e N e g a t i v e s : C o n v e r s e l y , of t h o s e p r e d i c t e d t o be n o n - r i s k , 11 % (61 of 5 5 9 ) w e r e at-risk a n d t h e r e f o r e i n a c c u r a t e l y i d e n t i f i e d or u n d e r - r e f e r r e d .  These  s u b j e c t s r e p r e s e n t 8 0 % (61 of 76) under-referral o f t h o s e s t u d e n t s w h o a c t u a l l y p e r f o r m e d u n s a t i s f a c t o r i l y o n t h e criterion m e a s u r e . A p r o b l e m b a s e rate of 1 3 % w a s c a l c u l a t e d . T h e o v e r a l l hit rate e q u a l l e d 85%. c.  Mann-Suiter  Visual Motor Screen  D e c i s i o n m a t r i x a n a l y s i s of the results of t h e M a n n - S u i t e r V i s u a l M o t o r S c r e e n a n d C T B S a d m i n i s t r a t i o n are p r e s e n t e d in F i g u r e 5 .  Figure 5.  Mann-Suiter Visual Motor Screen : Accuracy of Risk Identification per C T B S Performance Utilizing Decision Matrix Analysis (n = 596)  C 1 B S Performance Mann-Suiter Visual Motor Screen  Risk  Unsatisfactory  Satisfactory  18  56  (T-^)  * H (24%) * * V (24%)  H (76%) V (11%)  (Sensitivity)  (over-referral)  58 No-Risk  Referral R a t e = 1 2 % * H = Horizontal evaluation  {F + )  (F-)  464  H (11%) V (76%)  H (89%) V (89%)  (under-referral)  (Specificity)  76  520  Base Rate = 1 3 %  74  (T-) 522  n = 596  O v e r a l l Hit R a t e = 8 1 % * * V = Vertical evaluation  T r u e P o s i t i v e s : F i g u r e 5 i n d i c a t e s t h a t 1 2 % of t h e a c h i e v e d k i n d e r g a r t e n s a m p l e ( 7 4 of n) w e r e p r e d i c t e d t o be at-risk.  O f t h o s e , 2 4 % ( 1 8 of 7 4 ) w e r e  a c c u r a t e l y i d e n t i f i e d . T h e s e s u b j e c t s r e p r e s e n t 2 4 % ( 1 8 of 76) of t h o s e s t u d e n t s w h o a c t u a l l y p e r f o r m e d u n s a t i s f a c t o r i l y o n t h e c r i t e r i o n m e a s u r e . T h i s is t h e rate of s e n s i t i v i t y of t h e s c r e e n i n g m e a s u r e . F a l s e P o s i t i v e s : C o n v e r s e l y , of t h o s e p r e d i c t e d to be a t - r i s k , 7 6 % (56 of 7 4 ) w e r e n o n - r i s k a n d t h e r e f o r e i n a c c u r a t e l y i d e n t i f i e d or o v e r - r e f e r r e d .  These  s u b j e c t s r e p r e s e n t 11 % ( 5 6 of 5 2 0 ) o v e r - r e f e r r a l of t h o s e s t u d e n t s w h o a c t u a l l y performed satisfactorily on the criterion measure.  True Negatives: Of those predicted to be non-risk, 8 9 % (464 of 522) w e r e accurately identified.  T h e s e s u b j e c t s r e p r e s e n t 8 9 % ( 4 6 4 of 5 2 0 ) of t h o s e  s t u d e n t s w h o a c t u a l l y p e r f o r m e d s a t i s f a c t o r i l y o n t h e criterion m e a s u r e . T h i s is the rate o f s p e c i f i c i t y o f t h e s c r e e n i n g m e a s u r e . F a l s e N e g a t i v e s : C o n v e r s e l y , o f t h o s e p r e d i c t e d t o be n o n - r i s k , 11 % ( 5 8 o f 5 2 2 ) w e r e at-risk a n d t h e r e f o r e i n a c c u r a t e l y i d e n t i f i e d or u n d e r - r e f e r r e d .  These  s u b j e c t s r e p r e s e n t 7 6 % ( 5 8 of 7 6 ) u n d e r - r e f e r r a l o f t h o s e s t u d e n t s w h o a c t u a l l y performed unsatisfactorily o n the criterion m e a s u r e . A p r o b l e m b a s e rate o f 1 3 % w a s c a l c u l a t e d . T h e o v e r a l l hit rate e q u a l l e d 81%. d.  Deverell Test of Letters and Numbers  (Deverell)  D e c i s i o n m a t r i x a n a l y s i s o f t h e results o f t h e D e v e r e l l T e s t o f L e t t e r s a n d N u m b e r s a n d C T B S a d m i n i s t r a t i o n are p r e s e n t e d in F i g u r e 6 .  Figure 6.  I  Deverell Test of Letters and Numbers: Accuracy of Risk Identification per C T B S Performance Utilizing Decision Matrix Analysis (n = 606)  C T B S Performance Deverell S c r e e n i n g  Risk  Unsatisfactory  Satisfactory  11  9  (T-^)  * H (55%) * * V (14%)  H (45%) V (2%)  (Sensitivity)  (over-referral)  69 No-Risk  Referral R a t e = 3 % * H = Horizontal evaluation  True Positives:  (F-I-)  (F-)  519  H (11%) V (86%)  H (89%) V (98%)  (under-referral)  (Specificity)  78  528  Base Rate = 1 3 %  20  (T-) 586  n = 6  O v e r a l l Hit R a t e = 8 7 % * * V = Vertical evaluation  F i g u r e 6 i n d i c a t e s t h a t 3 % of t h e a c h i e v e d k i n d e r g a r t e n  s a m p l e ( 2 0 of n) w e r e p r e d i c t e d t o be at-risk.  O f t h o s e , 5 5 % (11 of 2 0 ) w e r e  a c c u r a t e l y i d e n t i f i e d . T h e s e s u b j e c t s r e p r e s e n t 1 4 % (11 o f 7 8 ) o f t h o s e s t u d e n t s w h o a c t u a l l y p e r f o r m e d u n s a t i s f a c t o r i l y o n t h e c r i t e r i o n m e a s u r e . T h i s is the rate of s e n s i t i v i t y of t h e s c r e e n i n g m e a s u r e . F a l s e P o s i t i v e s : C o n v e r s e l y , of t h o s e p r e d i c t e d t o be at-risk, 4 5 % (9 of 2 0 ) w e r e n o n - r i s k a n d t h e r e f o r e i n a c c u r a t e l y identified or o v e r - r e f e r r e d . T h e s e s u b j e c t s r e p r e s e n t 2 % (9 of 5 2 8 ) o v e r - r e f e r r a l of t h o s e s t u d e n t s w h o a c t u a l l y p e r f o r m e d satisfactorily on the criterion measure.  T r u e N e g a t i v e s : O f t l i o s e p r e d i c t e d t o be non-risic, 8 9 % ( 5 1 9 o f 5 8 6 ) w e r e accurately identified.  T h e s e s u b j e c t s r e p r e s e n t 9 8 % ( 5 1 9 of 5 2 8 ) of t h o s e w h o  actually performed satisfactorily on the criterion measure.  T h i s is t h e rate o f  s p e c i f i c i t y of t h e s c r e e n i n g m e a s u r e . F a l s e N e g a t i v e s : C o n v e r s e l y , of t h o s e p r e d i c t e d to be n o n - r i s k , 11 % (67 o f 5 8 6 ) w e r e at-risk a n d t h e r e f o r e i n a c c u r a t e l y identified or u n d e r - r e f e r r e d .  These  s u b j e c t s r e p r e s e n t 8 6 % ( 6 7 of 78) under-referral of t h o s e s t u d e n t s w h o a c t u a l l y p e r f o r m e d u n s a t i s f a c t o r i l y o n the criterion m e a s u r e . A p r o b l e m b a s e rate o f 1 3 % w a s c a l c u l a t e d . T h e o v e r a l l hit rate e q u a l l e d 87%. 2.  Predictive Accuracy of the Composite Screening Classification (Screening Composite) " F a i l u r e " of t w o or m o r e of the i n d i v i d u a l s c r e e n i n g m e a s u r e s r e s u l t e d in t h e  composite  screening classification  "at-risk".  Referral for  further  diagnostic  assessment w a s intended. a.  Screening Composite per Question 2:  CTBS  H o w accurately does the composite screening classification  p r e d i c t s t u d e n t s at-risk or n o t at-risk for f u t u r e s c h o o l difficulties a s m e a s u r e d b y third-grade performance o n a standardized a c h i e v e m e n t test (CTBS)? D e c i s i o n m a t r i x a n a l y s i s of the c o m p o s i t e s c r e e n i n g c l a s s i f i c a t i o n a n d C T B S a d m i n i s t r a t i o n are p r e s e n t e d in Figure 7.  Figure 7.  Composite Screening Classification: Accuracy of RisIc Identification per C T B S Performance Utilizing Decision Matrix Analysis (n = 592)  C T B S Performance Screening Composite  Risl<  Unsatisfactory  Satisfactory  11  16  (T + )  * H (41%) * * V (14%)  H (59%) V (3%)  (Sensitivity)  (over-referral)  65 No-Risic  Referral R a t e = 5 % * H = Horizontal evaluation  (F + )  (F-)  500  H (12%) V (86%)  H (88%) V (97%)  (under-referral)  (Specificity)  76  516  Base Rate = 1 3 %  27  (T-) 565  n = 5  O v e r a l l Hit R a t e = 8 6 % * * V = Vertical evaluation  T r u e P o s i t i v e s : F i g u r e 7 i n d i c a t e s t h a t 5 % of the a c h i e v e d k i n d e r g a r t e n s a m p l e ( 2 7 of n) w e r e p r e d i c t e d t o be at-risk.  O f t h o s e , 4 1 % (11 o f 2 7 ) w e r e  a c c u r a t e l y i d e n t i f i e d . T h e s e s u b j e c t s r e p r e s e n t 1 4 % (11 of 7 6 ) o f t h o s e s t u d e n t s w h o a c t u a l l y p e r f o r m e d u n s a t i s f a c t o r i l y o n t h e c r i t e r i o n m e a s u r e . T h i s is t h e rate of s e n s i t i v i t y of the s c r e e n i n g m e a s u r e . F a l s e P o s i t i v e s : C o n v e r s e l y , of t h o s e p r e d i c t e d to be a t - r i s k , 5 9 % (16 of 2 7 ) w e r e n o n - r i s k a n d t h e r e f o r e i n a c c u r a t e l y identified or o v e r - r e f e r r e d .  These  s u b j e c t s r e p r e s e n t 3 % ( 1 6 of 5 1 6 ) o v e r - r e f e r r a l of t h o s e s t u d e n t s w h o a c t u a l l y performed satisfactorily on the criterion m e a s u r e .  T r u e N e g a t i v e s : O f t h o s e p r e d i c t e d to be non-risl<, 8 8 % ( 5 0 0 o f 5 6 5 ) w e r e accurately identified.  T h e s e s u b j e c t s r e p r e s e n t 9 7 % ( 5 0 0 of 5 1 6 ) of  those  s t u d e n t s w h o a c t u a l l y p e r f o r m e d s a t i s f a c t o r i l y o n the criterion m e a s u r e . T h i s is the rate of s p e c i f i c i t y of t h e s c r e e n i n g m e a s u r e . F a l s e N e g a t i v e s : C o n v e r s e l y , of t h o s e p r e d i c t e d to be n o n - r i s k , 1 2 % ( 6 5 of 5 6 5 ) w e r e at-risk a n d t h e r e f o r e i n a c c u r a t e l y identified or u n d e r - r e f e r r e d .  These  s u b j e c t s r e p r e s e n t 8 6 % (65 of 7 6 ) under-referral of t h o s e s t u d e n t s w h o a c t u a l l y p e r f o r m e d u n s a t i s f a c t o r i l y o n the c r i t e r i o n m e a s u r e . A p r o b l e m b a s e rate of 1 3 % w a s c a l c u l a t e d . T h e o v e r a l l hit rate e q u a l l e d 86%. b.  Screening Composite per History of Intervention Question 3:  H o w a c c u r a t e l y d o e s the c o m p o s i t e s c r e e n i n g c l a s s i f i c a t i o n  p r e d i c t s t u d e n t s at-risk or n o t at-risk for f u t u r e s c h o o l difficulties a s i n d i c a t e d b y school-based intervention during primary grades? D e c i s i o n m a t r i x a n a l y s i s of c o m p o s i t e s c r e e n i n g c l a s s i f i c a t i o n a n d h i s t o r y of s c h o o l - b a s e d i n t e r v e n t i o n are p r e s e n t e d in F i g u r e 8 . g r a d e is c o n s i d e r e d a n i n t e r v e n t i o n .  R e t e n t i o n in a p r i m a r y  Figure 8.  Composite Screening Classification: Accuracy of Risk Identification per History of Intervention Utilizing Decision Matrix Analysis (n = 663)  History of Intervention Screening Composite  Intervention 28  Risk  No Intervention (T-I-)  Referral R a t e = 6 % * H = Horizontal evaluation  True Positives:  (F + )  * H (74%) * * V (15%)  H (26%) V (2%)  (Sensitivity)  (over-referral)  159 No-Risk  10  (F-)  466  H (25%) V (85%)  H (75%) V (98%)  (under-referral)  (Specificity)  187  476  Base Rate = 2 8 %  38  (T-) 625  n = 6  O v e r a l l Hit R a t e = 7 5 % * * V = Vertical evaluation  Figure 8 indicates that 6 % of the a c h i e v e d kindergarten  s a m p l e ( 3 8 of n) w e r e p r e d i c t e d t o b e at-risk.  O f t h o s e , 7 4 % ( 2 8 of 3 8 ) w e r e  a c c u r a t e l y i d e n t i f i e d . T h e s e s u b j e c t s r e p r e s e n t 1 5 % ( 2 8 o f 1 8 7 ) of t h o s e s t u d e n t s w h o a c t u a l l y p e r f o r m e d u n s a t i s f a c t o r i l y o n t h e c r i t e r i o n m e a s u r e . T h i s is t h e rate of s e n s i t i v i t y o f t h e s c r e e n i n g m e a s u r e . F a l s e P o s i t i v e s : C o n v e r s e l y , o f t h o s e p r e d i c t e d t o be a t - r i s k , 2 6 % (10 o f 3 8 ) w e r e n o n - r i s k a n d t h e r e f o r e i n a c c u r a t e l y identified or o v e r - r e f e r r e d .  These  subjects represent 2 % (10 of 4 7 6 ) over-referral of t h o s e students w h o actually p e r f o r m e d s a t i s f a c t o r i l y o n t h e criterion m e a s u r e .  T r u e N e g a t i v e s : O f t h o s e p r e d i c t e d t o be non-risl< 7 5 % ( 4 6 6 of 6 2 5 ) w e r e accurately identified.  T h e s e s u b j e c t s r e p r e s e n t 9 8 % ( 4 6 6 of 4 7 6 ) of t h o s e  s t u d e n t s w h o a c t u a l l y p e r f o r m e d s a t i s f a c t o r i l y o n t h e c r i t e r i o n m e a s u r e . T h i s is the rate of s p e c i f i c i t y o f the s c r e e n i n g m e a s u r e . F a l s e N e g a t i v e s : C o n v e r s e l y , of t h o s e p r e d i c t e d t o be n o n - r i s k , 2 5 % ( 1 5 9 of 6 2 5 ) w e r e at-risk a n d t h e r e f o r e i n a c c u r a t e l y identified or u n d e r - r e f e r r e d . T h e s e s u b j e c t s r e p r e s e n t 8 5 % ( 1 5 9 of 1 8 7 ) under-referral of t h o s e s t u d e n t s w h o a c t u a l l y p e r f o r m e d u n s a t i s f a c t o r i l y o n the c r i t e r i o n m e a s u r e . A p r o b l e m b a s e rate of 2 8 % w a s c a l c u l a t e d . T h e o v e r a l l hit rate e q u a l l e d 75%. c.  Screening Composite per Retention Status Question 4:  H o w accurately does the composite screening classification  p r e d i c t s t u d e n t s at-risk or not at-risk for f u t u r e s c h o o l difficulties a s i n d i c a t e d b y r e t e n t i o n of o n e or m o r e y e a r s in a p r i m a r y g r a d e ? D e c i s i o n m a t r i x a n a l y s i s of c o m p o s i t e s c r e e n i n g c l a s s i f i c a t i o n a n d r e t e n t i o n s t a t u s are p r e s e n t e d in F i g u r e 9 .  Figure 9.  Composite Screening Classification: Accuracy of Risk Identification per Retention Status Utilizing Decision Matrix Analysis (n = 663)  Retention Status Screening Composite  Retain 16  Risk  Promote {T + )  1 Referral R a t e = 6 % * H = Horizontal evaluation  22  (F-J-)  * H (42%) * * V (23%)  H (58%) V (4%)  (Sensitivity)  (over-referral)  55 No-Risk  ||  (F-)  570  H (9%) V (77%)  H (91%) V (96%)  (under-referral)  (Specificity)  71  592  Base Rate = 1 1 %  38  (T-) 625  n = 663  O v e r a l l Hit R a t e = 8 8 % * * V = Vertical evaluation  T r u e P o s i t i v e s : F i g u r e 9 i n d i c a t e s t h a t 6 % of the a c h i e v e d k i n d e r g a r t e n s a m p l e ( 3 8 of n) w e r e p r e d i c t e d to be at-risk.  O f t h o s e , 4 2 % ( 1 6 of 3 8 ) w e r e  a c c u r a t e l y i d e n t i f i e d . T h e s e s u b j e c t s r e p r e s e n t 2 3 % ( 1 6 of 71 ) of t h o s e s t u d e n t s w h o a c t u a l l y p e r f o r m e d u n s a t i s f a c t o r i l y o n t h e c r i t e r i o n m e a s u r e . T h i s is t h e rate of s e n s i t i v i t y of t h e s c r e e n i n g m e a s u r e . F a l s e P o s i t i v e s : C o n v e r s e l y , of t h o s e p r e d i c t e d t o be at-risk, 5 8 % (22 of 3 8 ) w e r e n o n - r i s k a n d t h e r e f o r e i n a c c u r a t e l y identified or o v e r - r e f e r r e d .  These  s u b j e c t s r e p r e s e n t 4 % ( 2 2 of 5 9 2 ) o v e r - r e f e r r a l of t h o s e s t u d e n t s w h o a c t u a l l y performed satisfactorily on the criterion measure.  T r u e N e g a t i v e s : O f t l i o s e p r e d i c t e d t o be non-risIc, 91 % ( 5 7 0 o f 6 2 5 ) w e r e a c c u r a t e l y i d e n t i f i e d . T h e s e s u b j e c t s r e p r e s e n t 9 6 % ( 5 7 0 of 5 9 2 ) of t h o s e w h o s t u d e n t s a c t u a l l y p e r f o r m e d s a t i s f a c t o r i l y o n t h e c r i t e r i o n m e a s u r e . T h i s is t h e rate of s p e c i f i c i t y o f t h e s c r e e n i n g m e a s u r e . F a l s e N e g a t i v e s : C o n v e r s e l y , of t h o s e p r e d i c t e d t o be n o n - r i s k , 9 % (55 of 6 2 5 ) w e r e at-risk a n d t h e r e f o r e i n a c c u r a t e l y identified or u n d e r - r e f e r r e d .  These  s u b j e c t s r e p r e s e n t 7 7 % (55 of 7 1 ) u n d e r - r e f e r r a l of t h o s e s t u d e n t s w h o a c t u a l l y performed unsatisfactorily on the criterion measure. A p r o b l e m b a s e rate of 11 % w a s c a l c u l a t e d . T h e o v e r a l l hit rate e q u a l l e d 88%. 3.  S u m m a r y of R e s u l t s T h e a c c u r a c y of k i n d e r g a r t e n s c r e e n i n g for p r e d i c t i n g s t u d e n t s at-risk or n o t  not at-risk for f u t u r e s c h o o l d i f f i c u l t i e s is s u m m a r i z e d in T a b l e s 2 a n d 3 . T a b l e 2 p r e s e n t s t h e s u m m a r y of results a s p e r c e n t a g e s .  Table 2.  Kindergarten Screening: Accuracy of Risk Identification for School Achievement, Intervention, and Retention Utilizing Decision Matrix Analysis (Presented as Percentages)  True Positives (Sensitivity)^ Predictor/ Criterion  H*  v *  DAP/CTBS  24  KLST/CTBS  False Positives (over-referral)  True Negatives (Specificity)^  False Negatives (under-referraî)  Referral Rate  Problem Base Rate  Overall Hit Rate  H  V  H  V  H  V  8  76  4  87  96  13  92  4  13  85  36  20  64  5  89  95  11  80  7  13  85  MS/CTBS  24  24  76  11  89  89  11  76  12  13  81  DLN/CTBS  55  14  45  2  89  98  11  86  3  13  87  Composite/ CTBS  41  14  59  3  88  97  12  86  5  13  86  Composite/ Intervention  74  15  26  2  75  98  25  85  6  28  75  Composite/ Retention  42  23  58  4  91  96  9  77  6  11  88  * H = Horizontal Evaluation * * V = Vertical Evaluation  1 = S e n s i t i v i t y (True P o s i t i v e , V ) 2 = S p e c i f i c i t y (True N e g a t i v e , V )  P r o b l e m b a s e rates of 1 3 % , 2 8 % , a n d 11 % w e r e c a l c u l a t e d w i t h r e f e r e n c e t o C T B S , i n t e r v e n t i o n , a n d retention c r i t e r i o n r e s p e c t i v e l y .  Similarly, respective  referral r a t e s of 5 % , 6 % , a n d 6 % w e r e c a l c u l a t e d f r o m s c r e e n i n g c o m p o s i t e classifications.  A l l referral rates w e r e less t h a n their r e s p e c t i v e b a s e r a t e s ,  indicating general under-referral. V e r t i c a l e v a l u a t i o n (actual o u t c o m e ) r e v e a l e d g r e a t e r under-referral rates t h a n did h o r i z o n t a l e v a l u a t i o n (predicted o u t c o m e ) w h i c h i n d i c a t e d greater o v e r - r e f e r r a l rates.  O v e r - r e f e r r a l o c c u r s w h e n p r e d i c t i o n of risk is i n c o r r e c t .  Under-referral  o c c u r s w h e n p r e d i c t i o n of n o n - r i s k is i n c o r r e c t . W h i l e b o t h h o r i z o n t a l a n d v e r t i c a l e v a l u a t i o n a p p e a r e d to i n d i c a t e g r e a t e r s c r e e n i n g a c c u r a c y for i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of n o n - r i s k s t u d e n t s t h a n at-risk s t u d e n t s , v e r t i c a l e v a l u a t i o n d e m o n s t r a t e d t h e far g r e a t e r rates of s p e c i f i c i t y (true non-risk) t h a n s e n s i t i v i t y (true risk) w h i c h a c t u a l l y e x i s t e d . O v e r a l l hit rates a p p e a r e d to be h i g h , r a n g i n g f r o m 7 5 % - 8 8 % . T a b l e 3 p r e s e n t s t h e s u m m a r y of results in a b s o l u t e n u m b e r s r e p r e s e n t i n g individual c a s e s .  Table 3.  Kindergarten Screening: A c c u r a c y of RisIc Identification for School Achievement, Intervention, and Retention Utilizing Decision IVIatrix Analysis (Presented in Absolute Numbers)  Predictor/ Criterion  T+  P +  T-  F-  Refer  NonRefer  DAP/CTBS  6  19  482  69  25  551  KLST/CTBS  15  27  498  61  42  MS/CTBS  18  56  464  58  DLN/CTBS  11  9  519  Composite/  11  16  28  16  Unsatisfactory Criterion  Satisfactory Criterion  n  75  501  576  559  76  525  601  74  522  76  520  596  67  20  586  78  528  606  500  65  27  565  76  516  592  10  466  159  38  625  187  476  663  22  570  55  38  625  71  592  663  CTBS Composite/ Intervention Composite/ 1 Retention  P r e s e n t a t i o n o f a b s o l u t e n u m b e r s a l l o w s c o m p a r i s o n of results a n d c l a r i f i e s interpretation of p e r c e n t a g e s . predicted  by  intervention identified.  the  composite  F o r e x a m p l e , w h i l e 2 8 of 3 8 s t u d e n t s screening classification to  service, 1 5 9 other students w h o This represents 8 5 % under-referral.  be at-risk  (74%)  received  required intervention w e r e  not  in realilty, 1 5 9 c h i l d r e n did n o t  benefit f r o m e a r l y i d e n t i f i c a t i o n b y this m e a s u r e . If t h e p r e d i c t i o n had b e e n c o r r e c t for 3 8 of 3 8 ( 1 0 0 % ) referred s t u d e n t s , u n d e r - r e f e r r a l w o u l d still be h i g h ( 1 5 9 o f 1 9 7 , or 8 1 % ) .  D.  SUIVIMARY T h e a c c u r a c y of k i n d e r g a r t e n s c r e e n i n g f o r p r e d i c t i n g s t u d e n t s at-risk or n o t  at-risk for f u t u r e s c h o o l difficulties  w a s i n v e s t i g a t e d utilizing d e c i s i o n m a t r i x  a n a l y s i s . R e s u l t s of h o r i z o n t a l a n d v e r t i c a l e v a l u a t i o n w e r e p r e s e n t e d , a s w e l l a s referral r a t e s , p r o b l e m b a s e r a t e s , a n d o v e r a l l hit r a t e s . D i s c u s s i o n of the f i n d i n g s a n d r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s for f u t u r e r e s e a r c h are p r e s e n t e d in C h a p t e r 5 .  V.  A.  S U M M A R Y A N D CONCLUSIONS  SUMMARY T h e p r e s e n t s t u d y i n v e s t i g a t e d t h e v a l i d i t y a n d utility o f four k i n d e r g a r t e n  s c r e e n i n g m e a s u r e s a n d their c o m p o s i t e s c r e e n i n g c l a s s i f i c a t i o n a s p r e d i c t o r s of third-grade a c h i e v e m e n t .  H i s t o r y of i n t e r v e n t i o n  and retention status  were  c o n s i d e r e d to be a d d i t i o n a l i n d i c e s o f s c h o o l p e r f o r m a n c e a n d their r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h kindergarten screening results w a s also investigated. Decision matrix analysis w a s utilized to e x a m i n e the p r e d i c t i v e a c c u r a c y of risk a n d n o n - r i s k s c r e e n i n g classifications. Results included horizontal and vertical evaluations, problem base r a t e s , referral r a t e s , a n d o v e r a l l hit r a t e s . The kindergarten screening program w a s implemented by one s c h o o l district t o a l l o w f o r t h e e a r l y i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of s t u d e n t s at-risk for f u t u r e learning p r o b l e m s . S u b s e q u e n t intervention w a s intended to prevent, reduce, and/or eliminate learning d i f f i c u l t i e s . S c r e e n i n g r e s u l t s i n f l u e n c e d t h e a l l o c a t i o n of s p e c i a l s e r v i c e s a n d are t h e r e f o r e l i n k e d w i t h e x p e n d i t u r e s of m o n e t a r y a n d p e r s o n n e l r e s o u r c e s . T h e s a m p l e o f 6 8 4 s u b j e c t s c o m p r i s e d 1 9 8 6 - 8 7 s t u d e n t s r e m a i n i n g in t h e d i s t r i c t s i n c e k i n d e r g a r t e n e n t r y in 1 9 8 3 - 8 4 .  Seven achieved samples allowed  e x a m i n a t i o n of s e v e n p r e d i c t i o n - p e r f o r m a n c e a n a l y s e s . T h e n u m b e r of s u b j e c t s per a c h i e v e d s a m p l e v a r i e d , r a n g i n g f r o m 5 7 6 to 6 6 3 . T h e p r e s e n t i n v e s t i g a t i o n e x a m i n e d the r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n f o u r i n d i v i d u a l k i n d e r g a r t e n s c r e e n i n g m e a s u r e s a n d t h i r d - g r a d e a c h i e v e m e n t a s m e a s u r e d by the C a n a d i a n T e s t s of B a s i c S k i l l s ( C T B S ) . T h e f o u r s c r e e n i n g m e a s u r e s i n c l u d e d the  D r a w - A - P e r s o n , the K i n d e r g a r t e n L a n g u a g e S c r e e n i n g T e s t , the M a n n - S u i t e r V i s u a l M o t o r S c r e e n ( M a n n - S u i t e r ) , a n d t h e D e v e r e l l T e s t of Letters a n d N u m b e r s (Deverell).  This  investigation  also examined the  relationship  between  the  composite screening classification (Screening Composite) and achievement, history of s c h o o l - b a s e d i n t e r v e n t i o n , a n d r e t e n t i o n s t a t u s .  B.  DISCUSSION T h e major f i n d i n g s of t h e s t u d y are s u m m a r i z e d b y t h e f o l l o w i n g .  1. F o r all a n a l y s e s , s c r e e n i n g referral rates w e r e l e s s t h a n their r e s p e c t i v e p r o b l e m b a s e r a t e s , i n d i c a t i n g g e n e r a l under-referral of at-risk s t u d e n t s . R e s u l t s for all p r e d i c t i o n - p e r f o r m a n c e a n a l y s e s in this s t u d y i n d i c a t e d t h a t problem  b a s e rates  (derived f r o m c r i t e r i o n  performance)  were  greater  a c c o m p a n y i n g referral rates (derived f r o m s c r e e n i n g p e r f o r m a n c e ) . individual  kindergarten  screening  measures  nor  the  composite  than  Neither the screening  c l a s s i f i c a t i o n w e r e a b l e t o s e l e c t for referral a n e q u i v a l e n t or g r e a t e r n u m b e r of s t u d e n t s t h a n w a s a c t u a l l y f o u n d to be at-risk. Because perfect  prediction  is not e x p e c t e d of s c r e e n i n g m e a s u r e s , a  p r o p o r t i o n o f referrals s h o u l d p r o v e to be in error. T o a l l o w for t h e p o s s i b l i l i t y t h a t all at-risk s t u d e n t s be i d e n t i f i e d , it is t y p i c a l l y a r g u e d t h a t t h e referral rate s h o u l d be g r e a t e r t h a n the b a s e rate ( L i c h t e n s t e i n & Ireton, 1 9 8 4 ) .  This presents an  i n h e r e n t d i f f i c u l t y r e g a r d i n g t h e a c c u r a c y of risk i d e n t i f i c a t i o n p o s s i b l e b y the s c r e e n i n g m e a s u r e s e m p l o y e d in this s t u d y . U n d e r - r e f e r r a l of t r u l y at-risk s t u d e n t s w o u l d be e x p e c t e d a n d , t h u s , i n f l u e n c e the results of the i n v e s t i g a t i o n .  2.  F o r all a n a l y s e s , v e r t i c a l e v a l u a t i o n (actual o u t c o m e ) of d e c i s i o n m a t r i c e s  d e m o n s t r a t e d greater rates of under-referral (F-) t h a n d i d h o r i z o n t a l e v a l u a t i o n (predicted o u t c o m e ) w h i c h i n d i c a t e d greater rates of o v e r - r e f e r r a l (F-t-). V e r t i c a l e v a l u a t i o n c a l c u l a t e s t h e rates of p r e d i c t i v e a c c u r a c y or i n a c c u r a c y in relation t o t h e n u m b e r of s t u d e n t s a c t u a l l y at-risk or not at-risk.  Horizontal  e v a l u a t i o n c a l c u l a t e s t h e rates of p r e d i c t i v e a c c u r a c y or i n a c c u r a c y in relation t o the n u m b e r of s t u d e n t s p r e d i c t e d to be at-risk o r n o t at-risk. In r e f e r e n c e t o t h e e x p e c t a t i o n of g e n e r a l u n d e r - r e f e r r a l s u g g e s t e d b y t h e first f i n d i n g , v e r t i c a l e v a l u a t i o n g e n e r a t e d g r e a t e r under-referral rates t h a n d i d horizontal evaluation. U n d e r - r e f e r r a l rates (false n e g a t i v e s , or F-) r e p r e s e n t the p e r c e n t a g e o f at-risk s t u d e n t s w h o w e r e not identified for referral. F o r all a n a l y s e s in t h i s s t u d y , results of h o r i z o n t a l e v a l u a t i o n of under-referral d e m o n s t r a t e d relatively l o w r a t e s ranging f r o m 9 - 2 5 % .  V e r t i c a l e v a l u a t i o n of u n d e r - r e f e r r a l d e m o n s t r a t e d h i g h e r  rates r a n g i n g f r o m 7 6 - 9 2 % .  C o n v e r s e l y , relatively h i g h o v e r - r e f e r r a l rates w e r e  calculated using horizontal evaluation. O v e r - r e f e r r a l rates (false p o s i t i v e s , or F-i-) r e p r e s e n t the p e r c e n t a g e o f n o n - r i s k s t u d e n t s w h o w e r e identified for referral. F o r all i n v e s t i g a t i o n s , results of h o r i z o n t a l e v a l u a t i o n d e m o n s t r a t e d h i g h e r rates of o v e r - r e f e r r a l r a n g i n g f r o m 2 6 - 7 6 % t h a n t h o s e o f v e r t i c a l e v a l u a t i o n r a n g i n g f r o m 2-11 % . It is n o t e d t h a t o v e r - r e f e r r a l m a y reflect t h e e x t e n t to w h i c h i n t e r v e n t i o n is successful  for  subsequently  those receive  students  predicted  remedial treatment.  by  s c r e e n i n g to  Related  be  at-risk  improvement  in  who school  p e r f o r m a n c e w o u l d m a k e t h e initial p r e d i c t i o n o f risk a p p e a r to be i n a c c u r a t e , thereby  increasing the  rate  of  over-referrals.  Short  of  intervention  being  u n a v a i l a b l e or d e l i b e r a t e l y w i t h h e l d , p u r e i n v e s t i g a t i o n s o f v a l i d i t y are h i n d e r e d in this r e g a r d . M a t u r a t i o n a n d d e v e l o p m e n t m a y p r o v i d e s i m i l a r t h r e a t s t o p r e d i c t i v e a c c u r a c y o f risk i d e n t i f i c a t i o n . T h e c o s t o f u n d e r - r e f e r r a l is related t o t h e l o s s o f e d u c a t i o n a l i n t e r v e n t i o n for t h e t r u l y at-risk s t u d e n t .  A d v a n t a g e s include decreased demand on both  m o n e t a r y a n d p e r s o n n e l r e s o u r c e s . T h e o p p o s i t e is true for o v e r - r e f e r r a l w h e n non-risk students receive costly and u n n e c e s s a r y treatment and may experience the possible c o n s e q u e n c e s of labelling. chances  for  the  identification  of  m i s c l a s s i f i c a t i o n is d e f i n e d b y t h e  more  T h e a d v a n t a g e lies in t h e at-risk  requirements  students. of the  The  improved impact  specific district  of and  population involved. H o r i z o n t a l e v a l u a t i o n i n d i c a t e d t h a t c o r r e c t referral rates w e r e g r e a t e r t h a n o v e r - r e f e r r a l rates for o n l y t w o a n a l y s e s in t h i s s t u d y : D e v e r e l l T e s t o f L e t t e r s a n d N u m b e r s per C T B S ( 5 5 % t r u e p o s i t i v e s , or T - h ) a n d S c r e e n i n g C o m p o s i t e per H i s t o r y o f I n t e r v e n t i o n ( 7 4 % T-I-). W h i l e this s u g g e s t s t h a t t h e s e m e a s u r e s m a y be s t r o n g e r p r e d i c t o r s o f b a s i c skills a n d i n t e r v e n t i o n s e r v i c e r e s p e c t i v e l y , it is important to c o m p a r e these results w i t h corresponding vertical evaluations.  The  a c t u a l a c c u r a c y of referral c a l c u l a t e d v e r t i c a l l y is k n o w n a s t h e rate o f s e n s i t i v i t y of the m e a s u r e .  T h e a c t u a l a c c u r a c y o f n o n - r e f e r r a l s , k n o w n a s t h e rate o f  s p e c i f i c i t y , also provides valuable information regarding the efficiency of s c r e e n i n g .  3 . V e r t i c a l e v a l u a t i o n of s c r e e n i n g p r e d i c t i o n s c o n t r i b u t e d t o g r e a t e r a c c u r a c y of interpretation  in  this  study  than  did  horizontal  evaluation  which  invited  misinterpretation. V e r t i c a l e v a l u a t i o n of s c r e e n i n g c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s r e f l e c t s t h e a c c u r a c y of p r e d i c t i o n in relation t o t h e c r i t e r i o n p e r f o r m a n c e for t h e p o p u l a t i o n i n v o l v e d . T h i s c o n t r i b u t e s t o a c c u r a t e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . Initial interpretation of h o r i z o n t a l e v a l u a t i o n , w h i c h r e f l e c t s p r e d i c t i v e a c c u r a c y in relation t o s c r e e n i n g p e r f o r m a n c e , m a y require a l t e r a t i o n w h e n c o m p a r e d w i t h c o r r e s p o n d i n g v e r t i c a l c a l c u l a t i o n s . a.  Predictive Accuracy  of Individual Screening  Measures  H o r i z o n t a l e v a l u a t i o n of t h e f o u r i n d i v i d u a l s c r e e n i n g m e a s u r e s a s p r e d i c t o r s of t h i r d - g r a d e a c h i e v e m e n t (per C T B S ) r e v e a l e d t h e D e v e r e l l T e s t of L e t t e r s a n d N u m b e r s (Deverell) to h a v e t h e h i g h e s t rate of a c c u r a c y for i d e n t i f y i n g  at-risk  s t u d e n t s ( 5 5 % T + ). V e r t i c a l e v a l u a t i o n i n d i c a t e d , h o w e v e r , t h a t t h e s e s u b j e c t s r e p r e s e n t e d o n l y 1 4 % of t h o s e s t u d e n t s w h o a c t u a l l y p e r f o r m e d u n s a t i s f a c t o r i l y on the C T B S .  T h i s p e r c e n t a g e r e p r e s e n t s t h e rate of s e n s i t i v i t y of t h e m e a s u r e .  Additionally,  horizontal  evaluation  indicated that  only  11 %  of  those  p r e d i c t e d b y t h i s m e a s u r e t o be n o n - r i s k w e r e a c t u a l l y at-risk o r u n d e r - r e f e r r e d (F-). W h e n c a l c u l a t e d v e r t i c a l l y , this r e p r e s e n t e d 8 6 % a c t u a l u n d e r - r e f e r r a l for t h e sample.  B o t h h o r i z o n t a l a n d v e r t i c a l e v a l u a t i o n d e m o n s t r a t e d h i g h rates  of  a c c u r a c y for predicting truly non-risk students ( 8 9 % and 9 8 % T-, respectively). O f t h e i n d i v i d u a l m e a s u r e s , the D e v e r e l l ' s greater p r o b a b i l i t y o f p r e d i c t i n g at-risk s t u d e n t s m a y h a v e b e e n i n f l u e n c e d b y t h e t i m i n g of a d m i n i s t r a t i o n a n d t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p of c o n t e n t t o s c h o o l t a s k s .  M a y is late in t h e s c h o o l y e a r a n d  e x p o s u r e t o a n d p r a c t i c e of letter a n d n u m b e r k n o w l e d g e h a s b e e n a f o c u s o f t h e curriculum.  T h e m e a s u r e m a y a l s o be l a c k i n g in r a n g e o f t a s k d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n  or  d i f f i c u l t y , r e s u l t i n g in a n "all or n o t h i n g " p e r f o r m a n c e t e n d e n c y r e f l e c t e d in t h e referral rate of 3 % , t h e l o w e s t in the s t u d y . In s u m m a r y , w h i l e the D e v e r e l l p r o v e d c o r r e c t f o r 5 5 % of t h o s e p r e d i c t e d to be at-risk, t h e y r e p r e s e n t e d o n l y 1 4 % of t h o s e a c t u a l l y at-risk in t h e s a m p l e . Identification of truly n o n - r i s k s t u d e n t s w a s m o r e a c c u r a t e for b o t h t y p e s of evaluation. A s i m i l a r p a t t e r n of p r e d i c t i v e a c c u r a c y w a s n o t e d for the D r a w - A - P e r s o n and Kindergarten Language Screening Test w h e n c o m p a r i n g horizontal calculations ( 2 4 % a n d 3 6 % T-I-, r e s p e c t i v e l y ) w i t h v e r t i c a l c a l c u l a t i o n s ( 8 % a n d 2 0 % T-I-, r e s p e c t i v e l y ) . H i g h rates of true n e g a t i v e s w e r e s i m i l a r l y n o t e d for b o t h m e a s u r e s u s i n g e i t h e r t y p e of e v a l u a t i o n , a s w a s t r u e of all i n v e s t i g a t i o n s in t h e s t u d y ( 7 5 % - 9 1 % horizontal, 8 9 % - 9 8 % vertical). P r e d i c t i v e a c c u r a c y rates for t h e M a n n - S u i t e r  further demonstrated the  p o s s i b i l i t y of m i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n w h e n c o m p a r i s o n o f c a l c u l a t i o n s d o e s not o c c u r . Individual  cases  (absolute  numbers)  resulting f r o m t h e  investigation  of  the  M a n n - S u i t e r a s a p r e d i c t o r of t h i r d - g r a d e a c h i e v e m e n t w e r e a s f o l l o w s : {T + )  18  {F + )  56  =74  (F-)  5â  (T-)  464  =522  520  n = 596  76  A referral rate of 1 2 % ( 7 4 of 5 9 6 ) w a s t h e l a r g e s t in the s t u d y a n d nearly m a t c h e d t h e p r o b l e m b a s e rate of 1 3 % a s m e a s u r e d b y t h e C T B S .  O f t h o s e p r e d i c t e d by the M a n n - S u i t e r t o be at-risl<, 2 4 % w e r e a c c u r a t e l y i d e n t i f i e d . T h i s w a s o n e of the l o w e s t h o r i z o n t a l l y c a l c u l a t e d p r e d i c t i o n rates f o r true p o s i t i v e s by a n i n d i v i d u a l m e a s u r e . It r e p r e s e n t e d 2 4 % of t h o s e w h o a c t u a l l y performed unsatisfactorily.  This w a s the highest vertically calculated prediction  rate for t r u e p o s i t i v e s in the entire s t u d y .  T h u s , w h i l e b o t h t y p e s of e v a l u a t i o n s  r e s u l t e d in i d e n t i c a l p e r c e n t a g e s , o n e r e p r e s e n t e d t h e l o w e s t a n d t h e o t h e r t h e h i g h e s t rate of t r u e p o s i t i v e s . A d d i t i o n a l l y , of t h o s e p r e d i c t e d t o be at-risk b y the M a n n - S u i t e r , 7 6 % w e r e o v e r - r e f e r r e d (F + ), r e p r e s e n t i n g o n l y 1 1 % of t h o s e w h o a c t u a l l y satisfactorily.  performed  O f t h o s e p r e d i c t e d t o be n o n - r i s k , 11 % w e r e u n d e r - r e f e r r e d (F-),  r e p r e s e n t i n g 7 6 % of t h o s e w h o a c t u a l l y p e r f o r m e d u n s a t i s f a c t o r i l y . T h e s e o p p o s i n g f i g u r e s w e r e related t o t h e n u m b e r of i n d i v i d u a l c a s e s w i t h i n e a c h q u a d r a n t of t h e d e c i s i o n m a t r i x .  False positives and negatives w e r e nearly  i d e n t i c a l in n u m b e r , a s w e r e t h e p r e d i c t e d n u m b e r of at-risk a n d t h e a c t u a l n u m b e r of at-risk. W h i l e t h e n u m b e r s w e r e s i m i l a r , t h e y r e p r e s e n t e d d i f f e r e n t i n d i v i d u a l s . T h e 5 6 o v e r - r e f e r r e d s t u d e n t s (F + ) a n d 5 8 u n d e r - r e f e r r e d s t u d e n t s  (F-) are  s e p a r a t e i n d i v i d u a l s , a l t h o u g h , n u m e r i c a l l y , t h e s e f i g u r e s r e s u l t e d in i d e n t i c a l h o r i z o n t a l ( H ) a n d v e r t i c a K V ) c a l c u l a t i o n s of t r u e p o s i t i v e s .  U n d e r - r e f e r r a l rates  { 1 1 % H , a c t u a l l y 7 6 % V ) w e r e o p p o s i t e t o t h o s e of o v e r - r e f e r r a l r a t e s ( 7 6 % H , a c t u a l l y 11 % V ) . H o r i z o n t a l e v a l u a t i o n , p a r t i c u l a r l y w h e n c o n s i d e r e d in i s o l a t i o n , t h u s s e e m s m o r e v u l n e r a b l e to m i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n t h a n d o e s v e r t i c a l e v a l u a t i o n . T h o u g h relatively l o w , the M a n n - S u i t e r r e p o r t e d the h i g h e s t s e n s i t i v i t y rate ( 2 4 % ) of all a n a l y s e s in t h i s s t u d y . A c o n t r i b u t i n g f a c t o r m a y relate t o t h e s m a l l  n u m b e r of i t e m s w h i c l i c o m p r i s e t h i s m e a s u r e a n d d o not fully r e p r e s e n t t h e r a n g e of v i s u a l - m o t o r p e r f o r m a n c e p o s s i b l e . If a s t u d e n t fails t w o o r m o r e o f t h e f o u r i t e m s , t h e t e s t is " f a i l e d " , t h u s c r e a t i n g a larger b o d y of referrals a n d i n c r e a s i n g the p r o b a b i l i t y of c o r r e c t l y i d e n t i f y i n g at-risk s t u d e n t s . T h e relatively s t r o n g e r rate of s e n s i t i v i t y of t h e M a n n - S u i t e r m a y h a v e b e e n i n f l u e n c e d b y t h e i n c r e a s e d s c r e e n i n g referral rate rather t h a n b y the d i s c r i m i n a t o r y p o w e r of the f o u r i t e m s . S e n s i t i v i t y of 2 4 % still l e a v e s 7 6 % of truly at-risk s t u d e n t s u n i d e n t i f i e d . b.  Predictive Accuracy Composite)  of the Composite Screening Classification  Horizontal evaluation suggests that the  (Screening  S c r e e n i n g C o m p o s i t e is  a c c u r a t e f o r p r e d i c t i n g s t u d e n t s at-risk for f u t u r e i n t e r v e n t i o n ( 7 4 % ) .  more  Of the 3 8  s t u d e n t s referred b y s c r e e n i n g , r e c o r d s i n d i c a t e t h a t 2 8 r e c e i v e d i n t e r v e n t i o n treatment.  T h e a c c u r a c y of risk p r e d i c t i o n m i g h t be e x p e c t e d t o be h i g h a s the  d i s t r i c t s c r e e n i n g p r o c e s s required t h a t identified s t u d e n t s w e r e t o r e c e i v e f u r t h e r diagnosis  and  intervention,  thus  influencing  (or  "contaminating")  the  predictor/criterion relationship. V e r t i c a l e v a l u a t i o n of t h e S c r e e n i n g C o m p o s i t e for p r e d i c t i n g i n t e r v e n t i o n , h o w e v e r , i n d i c a t e s 1 5 % s e n s i t i v i t y a n d 8 5 % under-referral of s t u d e n t s a c t u a l l y at-risk. S h o u l d i n t e r v e n t i o n o c c u r for r e a s o n s o t h e r t h a n a c a d e m i c n e e d , s u c h a s b e h a v i o r a l c o n c e r n s or s t u d y s k i l l s , or for  mild d i f f i c u l t i e s  not foreseeable,  p r e d i c t i o n f r o m s c r e e n i n g w o u l d be u n l i k e l y a n d t h e r e f o r e i n c r e a s e t h e rate of under-referral.  A d d i t i o n a l l y , if i n t e r v e n t i o n w a s s u c c e s s f u l , f a l s e p o s i t i v e rates  might be e x p e c t e d t o i n c r e a s e a s true risl< s t u d e n t s b e c o m e a c h i e v e r s .  These  r a t e s , h o w e v e r , r e m a i n e d relatively l o w . U n d o c u m e n t e d remedial service could also reduce a c c u r a c y rates.  This  i n v e s t i g a t i o n , h o w e v e r , r e v e a l s i n t e r v e n t i o n w a s d o c u m e n t e d for 2 8 % of s a m p l e , r e p r e s e n t i n g t h e h i g h e s t p r o b l e m b a s e rate in t h e s t u d y .  the  If u n r e c o r d e d  t r e a t m e n t e x i s t e d , t h i s w o u l d likely s e r v e t o f u r t h e r d e c r e a s e the rate of risk i d e n t i f i c a t i o n a n d i n c r e a s e t h e t e n d a n c y for u n d e r - r e f e r r a l .  B e c a u s e h i s t o r y of  i n t e r v e n t i o n for t h i s s t u d y referred t o all r e m e d i a l p r o g r a m m i n g o v e r f o u r y e a r s , i n c l u d i n g r e t e n t i o n , a h i g h e r rate of true risk i d e n t i f i c a t i o n  might have been  expected. T h e S c r e e n i n g C o m p o s i t e a s a p r e d i c t o r of s t u d e n t s at-risk for d i f f i c u l t y w i t h a c h i e v e m e n t ( C T B S ) a n d retention s t a t u s w a s a c c u r a t e for 41 % a n d 4 2 % , respectively.  T h e s e p e r c e n t a g e s r e p r e s e n t s e n s i t i v y rates of 1 4 % a n d 2 3 %  accordingly.  Of the  retained s t u d e n t s , o n l y  1 6 o f 71  identified b y s c r e e n i n g ( 1 6 of o n l y 2 2 p r e d i c t e d ) .  had been accurately  If it is a s s u m e d t h a t s t u d e n t s  w h o are e v e n t u a l l y r e t a i n e d m i g h t likely d e m o n s t r a t e e a r l y or m o r e e d u c a t i o n a l d i f f i c u l t i e s , i n c r e a s e d i d e n t i f i c a t i o n w o u l d be e x p e c t e d .  obvious  While the  s e n s i t i v i t y of t h e S c r e e n i n g C o m p o s i t e for p r e d i c t i n g r e t e n t i o n w a s a m o n g s t t h e s t r o n g e s t in t h e s t u d y , a rate of 2 3 % is n o t h i g h . U n d e r - r e f e r r a l i n d i c a t e s t h a t 5 5 s t u d e n t s w h o w e r e n o t p r e d i c t e d to be at-risk w e r e a c t u a l l y r e t a i n e d ( 7 7 % ) .  If  f a c t o r s o t h e r t h a n a c a d e m i c d i f f i c u l t y i n f l u e n c e d r e t e n t i o n , s c r e e n i n g w o u l d refer proportionately fewer students.  T h e s e results s u g g e s t t h a t h o r i z o n t a l e v a l u a t i o n m a y invite m i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the p r e d i c t i v e a c c u r a c y of a s c r e e n i n g m e a s u r e o r m e a s u r e s , p a r t i c u l a r l y if p r e s e n t e d in i s o l a t i o n . It g e n e r a t e s p e r c e n t a g e s in relation t o p r e d i c t e d n u m b e r s , not a c t u a l n u m b e r s . V e r t i c a l e v a l u a t i o n a p p e a r s m o r e likely t o e n c o u r a g e c l a r i t y of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n .  R e s e a r c h i n c r e a s i n g l y reports s c r e e n i n g a c c u r a c y in t e r m s of  s e n s i t i v i t y a n d s p e c i f i c i t y rates o n l y . P r e v i o u s r e s e a r c h a n d f i n d i n g s w h i c h utilize h o r i z o n t a l c a l c u l a t i o n s m a y require r é é v a l u a t i o n a n d interpretive c a u t i o n . 4 . For all a n a l v s e s . s o e c i f i c i t v rates (actual t r u e n e c a t i v e s ) w e r e m u c h l a r c e r t h a n sensitivity  rates  (actual true p o s i t i v e s ) , i n d i c a t i n g far greater a c c u r a c v for  i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of n o n - r i s k t h a n at-risk s t u d e n t s . S p e c i f i c i t y rates f o r all a n a l y s e s in t h i s s t u d y S e n s i t i v i t y rates ( 8 % - 2 3 % ) w e r e l o w .  (89%-98%)  were  high.  T h e s e r e s u l t s i n d i c a t e greater s c r e e n i n g  a c c u r a c y f o r p r e d i c t i o n of n o n - r i s k s t u d e n t s t h a n at-risk s t u d e n t s . T h e h i g h e s t rates of s e n s i t i v i t y in t h i s s t u d y w e r e r e p o r t e d for t h e p r e d i c t i o n of t h i r d - g r a d e a c h i e v e m e n t b y t h e M a n n - S u i t e r ( 2 4 % ) a n d r e t e n t i o n s t a t u s b y t h e Screening Composite (23%).  D i s c u s s i o n in F i n d i n g 3 s u g g e s t e d t h a t t h e h i g h e r  rate of referral b y t h e M a n n - S u i t e r rather t h a n t h e d i s c r i m i n a t o r y p o w e r of t h e f o u r t e s t i t e m s m a y h a v e b e e n influential in t h e a p p a r e n t s e n s i t i v i t y of t h e m e a s u r e . D i s c u s s i o n in F i n d i n g 3 a l s o i n d i c a t e d t h a t o n l y 1 6 of 71 retained s t u d e n t s w e r e c o n s i d e r e d by s c r e e n i n g to be at-risk.  While retention traditionally  infers  m o r e s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f i c u l t y or d e l a y in s c h o o l p e r f o r m a n c e , t h e s e p r o b l e m s m a y be a t t r i b u t e d t o r e a s o n s o t h e r t h a n a c a d e m i c s k i l l , for e x a m p l e , a t t e n d a n c e , b e h a v i o r , a t t e n t i o n , a g e , g e n d e r , s o c i o - e c o n o m i c s t a t u s , or f a m i l y s y s t e m . T h e s e f a c t o r s  m a y i n f l u e n c e all a n a l y s e s in this s t u d y , but r e t e n t i o n is a m o n g s t t h e s t r o n g e s t f o r m s o f i n t e r v e n t i o n a n d early i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of risk m i g h t be e x p e c t e d . A b a s e rate of 11 % retention m i g h t a l s o be c o n s i d e r e d high in relation to t h e current practice of non-retention. available for  approximately  1/3  It is n o t e w o r t h y  of retained s t u d e n t s  t h a t C T B S results  were  in t h e original s a m p l e ,  i n d i c a t i n g t h a t r e t e n t i o n o c c u r r e d at t h e e n d o f third g r a d e .  District criteria for  retention m a y reveal reasons unrelated to kindergarten screening content. S i m i l a r l y , w h i l e the S c r e e n i n g C o m p o s i t e p r e d i c t e d i n t e r v e n t i o n for 2 8 of 3 8 referred s t u d e n t s w i t h a s p e c i f i c y rate of 1 5 % (28 of 1 8 7 ) , 1 5 9 pupils w h o r e c e i v e d i n t e r v e n t i o n w e r e not i d e n t i f i e d .  Q u e s t i o n i n g w h y or w h e n a s t u d e n t  r e c e i v e s i n t e r v e n t i o n m a y r e v e a l r e a s o n s o t h e r t h a n t h o s e m e a s u r e d or p r e d i c t a b l e by the k i n d e r g a r t e n s c r e e n i n g m e a s u r e s . R e a d i n g d i f f i c u l t y , for e x a m p l e , w o u l d likely be n o t e d later in t h e c u r r i c u l u m . B e h a v i o r a n d w o r k h a b i t s m a y a l s o initiate a referral. T h e s u c c e s s of i n t e r v e n t i o n might be i n d i c a t e d b y h i g h e r o v e r - r e f e r r a l r a t e s , but are not a p p a r e n t in this i n v e s t i g a t i o n .  Under-referral, however, w a s a  p e r v a s i v e d i f f i c u l t y in all i n v e s t i g a t i o n s a n d c o n t r i b u t e d t o t h i s rather l o w i n d i c a t i o n of s c r e e n i n g e f f i c i e n c y . T h e K i n d e r g a r t e n L a n g u a g e S c r e e n i n g T e s t a t t a i n e d a s e n s i t i v i t y rate of 2 0 % . T h i s s t a n d a r d i z e d t e s t o f f e r e d a p o s s i b l e s c o r e of 2 9 r e s u l t i n g f r o m 7 i t e m s . Failure w a s i n d i c a t e d b e l o w 2 0 a n d no d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n w a s c o n s i d e r e d for the r a n g e of s c o r e s b e t w e e n 0 a n d  19.  If t h e district  c h o s e to p r o v i d e l o c a l n o r m s  g e n e r a t i n g a d i f f e r e n t c u t - o f f s c o r e , i n c r e a s e d a c c u r a c y of p r e d i c t i o n m a y h a v e b e e n p o s s i b l e . T h e l a n g u a g e arts c o m p r i s e a s i g n i f i c a n t p o r t i o n of t h e p r i m a r y  s c h o o l c u r r i c u l u m . A t e s t r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of t h i s a g e , c o n t e n t a n d l e n g t h m i g h t be e x p e c t e d t o c o n t r i b u t e m o r e s t r o n g l y t o early risk i d e n t i f i c a t i o n . considered to  contribute  more than equal weight  It m i g h t a l s o be  a s o n e of f o u r s c r e e n i n g  m e a s u r e s , e s p e c i a l l y w h e n t w o of t h o s e m a y p r o d u c e c e i l i n g e f f e c t s c a u s e d b y limited n u m b e r o f i t e m s or r a n g e in t a s k s a s n o t e d w i t h t h e M a n n - S u i t e r the a n d Deverell. B o t h the D e v e r e l l a n d the S c r e e n i n g C o m p o s i t e r e p o r t e d s e n s i t i v i t y r a t e s of 1 4 % f o r p r e d i c t i o n of a c h i e v e m e n t a s m e a s u r e d b y t h e C T B S .  The Deverell  c o r r e c t l y i d e n t i f i e d 5 5 % (11 of 2 0 ) of t h o s e r e f e r r e d , but 8 6 % (67 of 7 8 ) of t h o s e w h o p e r f o r m e d u n s a t i s f a c t o r i l y o n t h e C T B S w e r e n o t c l a s s i f i e d a s at-risk w h e n s c r e e n e d . T h e S c r e e n i n g C o m p o s i t e a l s o r e p o r t e d 8 6 % (65 of 7 6 ) u n d e r - r e f e r r a l . O n l y 2 7 o f 5 9 2 s t u d e n t s in t h i s a n a l y s e s w e r e c l a s s i f i e d a s at-risk, 11 of w h i c h w e r e p r e d i c t e d a c c u r a t e l y . T h e f a c t o r s l e a d i n g to u n d e r - r e f e r r a l for t h e i n d i v i d u a l m e a s u r e s c o n t r i b u t e t o t h e c o m p o s i t e ability t o refer. W h e n t w o or m o r e of t h e f o u r m e a s u r e s w e r e f a i l e d , a s t u d e n t w a s c o n s i d e r e d by s c r e e n i n g to be at-risk. S h o u l d e v e n o n e failure h a v e d e n o t e d risk, t h e referral rate m a y h a v e i n c r e a s e d . T h i s , h o w e v e r , e m p h a s i z e s t h e a s s u m p t i o n t h a t e a c h m e a s u r e c a n be a s s i g n e d e q u a l w e i g h t in p r e d i c t i v e ability w h i c h d o e s n o t s e e m p l a u s i b l e . T h e D r a w - A - P e r s o n d e m o n s t r a t e d t h e least s e n s i t i v i t y (8%) for p r e d i c t i n g achievement on the C T B S .  Interrater reliabilities r a n g i n g f r o m . 6 0 to . 9 4 ( S c o t t ,  1981) have been reported.  T h i s t e s t m a y be s u b j e c t t o s o m e i n c o n s i s t e n c y in  s c o r i n g b y t h e t e a c h e r s i n v o l v e d . A referral rate of 4 % is v e r y l o w a n d m a y reflect t h e t e n d e n c y t o a l l o w t h e benefit of d o u b t r e g a r d i n g s t u d e n t p e r f o r m a n c e .  The  c u t - o f f p o i n t d e v i s e d t h r o u g h district n o r m i n g m a y a l s o n o t be a p p r o p r i a t e f o r t h i s or o t h e r c o h o r t s . In s u m m a r y , r e s u l t s o f i n v e s t i g a t i o n s w e r e n o t a b l e t o d e m o n s t r a t e s t r e n g t h in s e n s i t i v i t y r a t e s . S p e c i f i c i t y r a t e s , h o w e v e r , w e r e h i g h . 5.  F o r all a n a l v s e s . o v e r a l l hit rates w e r e h i g h b u t are m i s l e a d i n o a s t h e v d o n o t  i n d i c a t e t h e c o n t r i b u t i n g p r o p o r t i o n s o f c o r r e c t l v identified at-risk ( T - H a n d n o n risk (T-) s t u d e n t s . T h e o v e r a l l hit rate r e p r e s e n t s t h e p e r c e n t a g e of s t u d e n t s in a s a m p l e w h o have  been correctly  identified  a s at-risk  (T + ) or n o n - r i s k  (T-).  Rates  for  i n v e s t i g a t i o n s in t h i s s t u d y w e r e h i g h , r a n g i n g f r o m 7 5 % - 8 8 % . A s t h e p r o p o r t i o n s of t r u e p o s i t i v e s a n d n e g a t i v e s w h i c h c o n t r i b u t e d t o t h e o v e r a l l hit rates are n o t differentiated, the possibility for misinterpretation increases. T h e o v e r a l l hit rates in this s t u d y d o n o t i n d i c a t e t h e h i g h rates o f a c c u r a c y f o r s e l e c t i n g n o n - r i s k s t u d e n t s a n d t h e relatively l o w rates f o r s e l e c t i n g s t u d e n t s at-risk.  T h e o v e r a l l hit rates are high largely d u e t o t h e e f f i c i e n c y o f s c r e e n i n g  non-risk.  C.  LIMITATIONS OF T H E S T U D Y T h e e x t e n t t o w h i c h t h e s e r e s u l t s c a n be g e n e r a l i z e d t o o t h e r p o p u l a t i o n s  is s u s p e c t .  R e s u l t s are s p e c i f i c t o t h e district a n d c o h o r t .  Instrument selection  a n d d e c i s i o n or c u t - o f f rules i n d i c a t i n g s a t i s f a c t o r y or u n s a t i s f a c t o r y p e r f o r m a n c e w e r e d i c t a t e d b y t h e d i s t r i c t a n d m a y n o t be a p p l i c a b l e t o t h i s or o t h e r g r o u p s . Further investigation controlling for the effects of, for e x a m p l e , intervention.  g e n d e r , a n d a g e m a y be w a r r a n t e d . D i f f e r e n c e s in s u c l i p r a c t i c e s as e d u c a t i o n a l i n t e r v e n t i o n d e l i v e r y s e r v i c e or r e t e n t i o n s e l e c t i o n w o u l d a l s o n e g a t e g e n e r a l comparison. P r e d i c t i o n - p e r f o r m a n c e results are limited to t h e p r e - s e l e c t e d s t a n d a r d i z e d m e a s u r e s c h o s e n f o r u s e in t h i s d i s t r i c t . U s e o f s u c h t e s t s , p a r t i c u l a r y for t h i s a g e g r o u p , is c u r r e n t l y a t o p i c of r e g i o n a l a n d n a t i o n a l d e b a t e .  This may  have  influenced the district's eventual decision to s u s p e n d yearly screening. The data for this s t u d y w a s c o l l e c t e d for the 1 9 8 3 - 8 4 a g e c o h o r t w h o w e r e a d m i n i s t e r e d both predictive and criterion measures. T h e data w a s , therefore, extant and m a y not reflect t h e c u r r e n t level of s t u d e n t p e r f o r m a n c e . The screening measures were treated as equal contributors to the c o m p o s i t e s c r e e n i n g c l a s s i f i c a t i o n a l t h o u g h t h e n u m b e r s of i t e m s a n d range of t a s k s v a r i e d considerably.  T h e f o u r m e a s u r e s are i n d i v i d u a l i n s t r u m e n t s w h i c h t h e  s e l e c t e d f o r c o m b i n a t i o n . It is a l s o n o t  known  h o w consistently they  district were  a d m i n i s t e r e d a n d s c o r e d b y the s t a f f .  D.  IMPLICATIOIMS A N D The  findings  of  this  CONCLUSIONS study  indicated  that  the  individual  s c r e e n i n g m e a s u r e s a n d the c o m p o s i t e s c r e e n i n g c l a s s i f i c a t i o n  kindergarten demonstrated  greater s c r e e n i n g a c c u r a c y for p r e d i c t i o n o f n o n - r i s k s t u d e n t s t h a n at-risk s t u d e n t s . Misclassifications also demonstrated  t h e utility of t h e s c r e e n i n g m e a s u r e or  m e a s u r e s f o r a i d i n g d e c i s i o n s r e g a r d i n g t h e e f f e c t i v e n e s s of t h e e a r l y i d e n t i f i c a t i o n program.  Identification  o f m o r e o b v i o u s l e a r n i n g difficulties  is t r a d i t i o n a l l y  more  e f f i c i e n t t h a n t h a t o f mild or m o d e r a t e d i f f i c u l t i e s . F o r district p u r p o s e s it m a y be s u f f i c i e n t t o c o n f i r m t h e i d e n t i f i c a t i o n o f n o n - r i s k s t u d e n t s . Identification o f at-risk s t u d e n t s o f t e n i n v o l v e s m a n y p r o c e d u r e s o f w h i c h k i n d e r g a r t e n s c r e e n i n g is o n l y one. D i s t r i c t d e c i s i o n s r e g a r d i n g t h e c o n t i n u e d a s s i g n m e n t of m o n e t a r y a n d p e r s o n n e l r e s o u r c e s for s c r e e n i n g are o f t e n g u i d e d by t h e results o f o v e r - r e f e r r a l or u n d e r - r e f e r r a l a n a l y s e s . T h e v a l u e o f r e i n s t a t i n g t h e s c r e e n i n g p r o g r a m w o u l d n e e d to be c o n s i s t e n t w i t h d i s t r i c t p u r p o s e s f o r s c r e e n i n g a n d t h e  availability of  r e s o u r c e s . A r e a s requiring g r e a t e r p e r s o n n e l a n d m o n e t a r y e x p e n d i t u r e m i g h t be investigated.  In t h i s s t u d y , f o r e x a m p l e , t h e p u r c h a s e a n d a d m i n i s t r a t i o n o f t h e  K i n d e r g a r t e n L a n g u a g e S c r e e n i n g T e s t m i g h t be e v a l u a t e d in t e r m s o f c o s t a n d e f f i c i e n c y w h e n utilizing l o c a l l y d e v e l o p e d n o r m s v e r s u s t e s t - d e v e l o p m e n t n o r m s . G e n e r a l under-referral w a s n o t e d for all i n v e s t i g a t i o n s in this s t u d y . D e s p i t e t h e u n d e r s t a n d i n g t h a t t h e p r o b a b i l i t y for risk i d e n t i f i c a t i o n i m p r o v e s w i t h o v e r r e f e r r a l , it h a s b e e n a r g u e d t h a t g r e a t e r u n d e r - r e f e r r a l t e n d e n c i e s o f s c r e e n i n g m e a s u r e s are a p p r o p r i a t e a n d a c c e p t a b l e a s t h e y r e f l e c t t h e p u r p o s e for w h i c h t h e t e s t s are utilized ( L a r o c h e , 1 9 8 9 ) . S c r e e n i n g m e a s u r e s are d e s i g n e d t o s e l e c t o n l y t h o s e c h i l d r e n w h o differ s i g n i f i c a n t l y f r o m their p e e r s . W h e n t e s t s are e x p e c t e d t o p r e d i c t mild r i s k s , d e c i s i o n errors i n c r e a s e g r e a t l y . R e s u l t s are i n f l u e n c e d a n d c a n be a l t e r e d b y t h e c u t - o f f p o i n t s s e l e c t e d b e l o w w h i c h u n s a t i s f a c t o r y p e r f o r m a n c e o n t h e s c r e e n i n g or c r i t e r i o n m e a s u r e is i n d i c a t e d . T o raise t h e c u t - o f f o f a s c r e e n i n g t e s t w o u l d g e n e r a t e m o r e referrals  a n d i n c r e a s e t h e p o s s i b i l i t y of c o r r e c t l y i d e n t i f y i n g at-risk s t u d e n t s at t h e e x p e n s e of o v e r - r e f e r r a l . T o l o w e r t h e c r i t e r i o n c u t - o f f w o u l d likely d e c r e a s e u n d e r - r e f e r r a l and improve sensitivity.  T h i s c o u l d be i n v e s t i g a t e d in a c c o r d a n c e w i t h s p e c i f i c  district r e q u i r e m e n t s . W i t h i n the limitations of this s t u d y , t h e f i n d i n g s p r o v i d e i n f o r m a t i o n  for  e v a l u a t i o n of the s c r e e n i n g p r o g r a m . Its c o n t r i b u t i o n t o the g o a l of p r o v i d i n g e a r l y i n t e r v e n t i o n for e d u c a t i o n a l l y at-risk s t u d e n t s a s a result of early i d e n t i f i c a t i o n c a n be c o n s i d e r e d a l o n g w i t h o t h e r i n d i c a t o r s s u c h a s p a r e n t , t e a c h e r , a n d m e d i c a l report. E v a l u a t i o n of t h e  relative b e n e f i t s d e r i v e d f r o m utilizing t h e s c r e e n i n g  m e a s u r e s in d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g , or t e s t utility, w a s m a d e p o s s i b l e b y utilizing d e c i s i o n m a t r i x a n a l y s i s . T h e p r a c t i c a l i t y of results of t h i s f o r m of a n a l y s i s d e m o n s t r a t e its d i r e c t a p p l i c a b i l i t y t o t h e reality of e d u c a t i o n a l p r a c t i c e . W h i l e c u r r e n t e d u c a t i o n a l p h i l o s o p h y in t h e p r o v i n c e of British C o l u m b i a a l l o w s s t u d e n t s t o p r o g r e s s at their i n d i v i d u a l rate, t h e  realities of  practice  r e g a r d i n g i n t e r v e n t i o n a n d / o r f u n d i n g for s t u d e n t s w i t h learning p r o b l e m s s u g g e s t the c o n t i n u e d i m p l e m e n t a t i o n of early i d e n t i f i c a t i o n p r o c e d u r e s . U t i l i z i n g d e c i s i o n m a t r i x a n a l y s i s to e v a l u a t e the p r e d i c t i v e v a l i d i t y a n d utility of s e l e c t e d s c r e e n i n g m e a s u r e s p r e s e n t s r e s u l t s in t e r m s of l e v e l s of e f f i c i e n c y a n d p r a c t i c a l i t y .  E.  RECOMMENDATIONS Results  of this  study  FOR FUTURE R E S E A R C H generate  r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s for  future  research.  P r e d i c t i o n - p e r f o r m a n c e i n v e s t i g a t i o n s w h i c h c o n t r o l for the e f f e c t s of i n t e r v e n t i o n  are relatively f e w ( J a c o b s e n , 1 9 9 0 ) . of e d u c a t i o n a l risk is t o  implement  B e c a u s e o n e p u r p o s e of early i d e n t i f i c a t i o n s u b s e q u e n t i n t e r v e n t i o n , the e f f e c t s  of  s u c c e s s f u l t r e a t m e n t m i g h t n e g a t e earlier risk p r e d i c t i o n for i n d i v i d u a l s t u d e n t s . Research that  controls  for  the  effects  of  intervention  would  contribute  to  k n o w l e d g e r e g a r d i n g e a r l y p r e d i c t o r s of e d u c a t i o n a l risk. S i m i l a r l y , c o n t r o l l i n g f o r the e f f e c t s of o t h e r f a c t o r s s u c h a s a g e , g e n d e r , o r t y p e of risk s h o u l d be investigated. T i m i n g o f a n d criteria for i n t e r v e n t i o n s e r v i c e or r e t e n t i o n p r a c t i c e v a r y a c r o s s s i t u a t i o n s . T h e i r e f f e c t o n t h e results of p r e d i c t i o n - p e r f o r m a n c e r e s e a r c h in w h i c h t h e y a c t a s c r i t e r i o n i n d i c e s of e d u c a t i o n a l d i f f i c u l t y requires f u r t h e r investigation.  F o r s t u d e n t s w h o r e c e i v e i n t e r v e n t i o n or w h o are retained for  r e a s o n s n o t s t r i c t l y related to l e a r n i n g p r o b l e m s , s u c h a s b e h a v i o u r a l d i f f i c u l t y or s t u d y h a b i t s , p r e d i c t i o n of risk is less likely. when  or w h y  students  Additional investigation regarding  are a s s i g n e d t h e s e t r e a t m e n t s  might  contribute  to  k n o w l e d g e of their p r a c t i c e a n d level o f s u c c e s s . A l t e r a t i o n of c u t - o f f p o i n t s for t h e i n s t r u m e n t s u s e d in t h i s s t u d y w o u l d result in d i f f e r e n t rates of p r e d i c t i v e a c c u r a c y .  L o w e r C T B S c u t - o f f s (perhaps at  the 1 0 t h or 1 5 t h percentile) w o u l d likely i n c r e a s e T + ,F-f- a n d d e c r e a s e F-,T-. W e r e it p o s s i b l e t o raise the s c r e e n i n g c u t - o f f s  for  i n d i v i d u a l or c o m p o s i t e  m e a s u r e s , similar r e s u l t s m i g h t o c c u r a l t h o u g h t h e c o n t r i b u t i o n s of s i n g l e or c o m b i n e d t e s t s m a y alter this e x p e c t a t i o n . R e s e a r c h into t h e e f f i c i e n c y of e a r l y i d e n t i f i c a t i o n s c r e e n i n g p r o g r a m s w o u l d b e n e f i t f r o m b e s t p r a c t i c e s n o t e d in t h e literature ( C r o s s , 1 9 7 7 ; J a c o b s e n , 1 9 9 0 ;  K e o g h , 1 9 7 7 ; L i c h t e n s t e i n & Ireton, 1 9 8 4 ; M c l o u g h l i n & R a u s c h , 1 9 9 0 ; M e r c e r et  al., 1988;  NASP,  1989).  These would  i n c l u d e , for  example,  efficient  d o c u m e n t a t i o n a n d retrieval p r o c e d u r e s , large s a m p l e s , s k i l l e d a n d c o n s i s t e n t a d m i n i s t r a t i o n a n d s c o r i n g , multiple p r e d i c t o r s , a c c e p t a b i l i t y of i n s t r u m e n t a t i o n , multiple e v a l u a t i o n o v e r t i m e , c o n t r o l for e f f e c t s of v a r i a b l e s d i s c u s s e d in t h e p r e v i o u s r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s , a n d a p p r o p r i a t e m e t h o d s of a n a l y s i s . Determining and c o m m u n i c a t i n g screening results have more  recently  e m p l o y e d m e t h o d s s u c h a s i m p r o v e m e n t - o v e r - c h a n c e or I O C ( W i l s o n & R e i c h m u t h , 1985).  In t h i s m e t h o d , i n f o r m a t i o n in a d d i t i o n t o t h a t r e s u l t i n g f r o m utilization o f  p r e d i c t i o n - p e r f o r m a n c e m a t r i c e s relates h o w m u c h i m p r o v e m e n t in a c c u r a c y o f referral is o b t a i n e d o v e r t h a t a c h i e v e d b y r a n d o m referral. I O C g i v e s c o n s i d e r a t i o n to the d i s c r e p a n c y b e t w e e n the b a s e rate a n d the referral rate b e c a u s e of its s i g n i f i c a n t e f f e c t o n t h e n u m b e r of c o r r e c t d e c i s i o n s t h a t b e c o m e p o s s i b l e . I O C a n a l y s i s m i g h t a d d t o t h e interpretation a n d c o m p a r i s o n of s t u d i e s f o u n d in e a r l y identification  literature.  REFERENCES  A a r o n s o n , M . , P h i l l i p s , J . , B e r t o l u c c i , D., & A a r o n s o n , D. ( 1 9 7 8 , M a r c h ) . P r e s c h o o l P r e p o s i t i o n T e s t : D e v e l o p m e n t a l s c r e e n i n g for H e a d S t a r t . P a p e r p r e s e n t e d at t h e 6 2 n d A n n u a l M e e t i n g of t h e A m e r i c a n E d u c a t i o n R e s e a r c h Association, Toronto, Canada. A d e l m a n , H . S . , & F e s h b a c h , S . ( 1 9 7 1 ) . P r e d i c t i n g r e a d i n g failure: readiness model. Exceptional Children. 37(5). 3 4 9 - 3 5 .  Beyond the  A n a s t a s i , A . ( 1 9 7 2 ) . A R e v i e w of t h e G o o d e n o u g h - H a r r i s D r a w - A - M a n T e s t . In 0 . K. B u r o s (Ed.), T h e s e v e n t h m e n t a l m e a s u r e m e n t s y e a r b o o k (pp. 6 6 9 - 6 7 1 ) . Highland Park, N J : G r y p h o n Press. B a d i a n , N . A . ( 1 9 8 6 ) . I m p r o v i n g t h e p r e d i c t i o n of r e a d i n g f o r t h e i n d i v i d u a l c h i l d : A f o u r - y e a r f o l l o w - u p . J o u r n a l of L e a r n i n g D i s a b i l i t i e s . 1 9 . 2 6 2 - 2 6 9 . B a d i a n , N . A . , & S e r w e r , B. L. ( 1 9 7 5 ) . T h e i d e n t i f i c a t i o n o f high-risk c h i l d r e n : A r e t r o s p e c t i v e l o o k at s e l e c t i o n c r i t e r i a . J o u r n a l of L e a r n i n g D i s a b i l i t i e s . 8 ( 5 ) , 283-287. Bagnato, S . J . , & Neisworth, J . T . (1987). The young exceptional child: development and education. N e w York: M a c M i l l a n .  Early  B a r n e s , K . E . ( 1 9 8 2 ) . P r e s c h o o l s c r e e n i n g : T h e m e a s u r e m e n t a n d p r e d i c t i o n of c h i l d r e n at-risk. S p r i n g f i e l d , IL: C h a r l e s C . T h o m a s . B a r n e t t , D . W . , & P a g e t , K . D . ( 1 9 8 8 ) . A l t e r n a t i v e s e r v i c e d e l i v e r y in p r e s c h o o l s e t t i n g s : P r a c t i c a l a n d c o n c e p t u a l f o u n d a t i o n s . In J . L . G r a d e n , J . E . Z i n s , & M . J . Curtis (Eds.), Alternative educational delivery s v s t e m s : Enhancing i n s t r u c t i o n a l o p t i o n s for all s t u d e n t s (pp. 2 9 1 - 3 0 8 ) . Washington, DC: N a t i o n a l A s s o c i a t i o n of S c h o o l P s y c h o l o g i s t s . Berdine, W . H . , & Meyer, S . A . (1987). M A : Little, B r o w n , & C o .  A s s e s s m e n t in s p e c i a l e d u c a t i o n . B o s t o n ,  B e r k , R . A . ( 1 9 8 4 ) . S c r e e n i n g a n d d i a g n o s i s of c h i l d r e n w i t h l e a r n i n g d i s a b i l i t i e s . S p r i n g f i e l d , IL: C h a r l e s T h o m a s . Billman, J . (1988). considerations.  T w o years of kindergarten: Ethical and curricular (ERIC D o c u m e n t R e p r o d u c t i o n S e r v i c e N o . E D 2 9 7 8 8 4 ) .  B i r c h , L. B. ( 1 9 7 2 ) . R e v i e w of t h e C a n a d i a n T e s t s of B a s i c SIcills. In O . K. B u r o s (Ed.). T h e s e v e n t h m e n t a l nneasurements v e a r b o o k (pp. 1 5 - 1 6 ) . 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