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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A comparison of curriculum-based and norm-referenced measures in the identification of reading difficulty Dunn, Rita L.


The purpose of this study is to investigate the technical adequacy of two reading Curriculum—Based Measures (CBM5), to examine the relationships of the CBM5 to normreferenced tests, and to compare the strength of relationship of both kinds of measures to school—based indices of reading performance. The two CBMs (a word list sampled from several reading series and a passage reading test composed of ten Ginn 720 passages) were taken from the literature; comprehensive information about their technical adequacy had not been previously available. A review of the literature indicates that CBM, particularly reading CBM, is gaining increased attention in education because of claims regarding its utility in monitoring pupil progress, its ease of administration, and its relationship to local curricula as well as to learning gains. This study examined how reading CBMs and two subtests from the Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement (Kaufman & Kaufman, 1985) relate to each other and to three school—based indices of reading performance: a school district reading test, program placement status (learning disabled or regular education), and a teacher rating scale of reading skill. Grade four students from one metropolitan Vancouver school district served as subjects (n=105). Of these, 35 were classified as learning disabled and 70 were classified as regular education. Learning disabled status was determined by judgments of a school district screening committee and by examining previous psychoeducational assessments. Reliability indices calculated on the CBMs supported claims for technical adequacy. These estimates were as follows: internal consistency of the word list was .97, internal consistency of the reading passages was .98 and .94 for reading speed and accuracy, test—retest reliability of the reading passages was .89 and .79 for reading speed and accuracy, and inter—rater reliability of the reading passages was .99 and .96 for reading speed and accuracy. Results indicated that the CBMs used in this study have high reliabilities. CBM5, especially the speed score from the- reading passages, demonstrated strong relationships to the two norm—referenced subtests. The pattern of correlations between the measures differed between the learning disabled and normal sample; analyses of variance demonstrated that all measures used in the study discriminated between the learning disabled and the regular education groups. Stepwise multiple regression and canonical analysis indicated that the two norm—referenced subtests, the speed score from the Curriculum—Based Reading Passages, and the accuracy score from the Curriculum—Based Word List were most efficient in “predicting” the three school-based indices of reading performance. Evidence for concurrent validity of curriculum—based and norm—referenced measures was found in this study. When administration time, instructional utility, and technical properties are considered, results indicated that the Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement Reading Decoding subtest and the Curriculum—Based Reading Passages speed score are the most efficient of the predictor measures investigated in identifying and programming for Year Four children with significant reading difficulty. Implications for further research and the potential of CBM to accommodate instructional and measurement needs is discussed.

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