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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The effectiveness of three screening tests as predictors of kindergarten academic achievement Berg, Cheryl Anne


The early identification of children who may be "at-risk" of experiencing learning difficulties is of prime concern to educators and researchers. Several screening tests have been developed to identify "at-risk" children. Considerable interest has been shown in the use of these screening instruments. An examination of the literature indicates that there is lack of common agreement as to which screening measures will accurately identify children with potential learning difficulties, however, the literature does suggest that early screening is necessary. Most researchers agree that further study of kindergarten screening batteries will provide valuable information regarding the accurate prediction of elementary school achievement. The rationale for kindergarten screening is that "at-risk" children can be given special treatment before they develop severe learning problems. The purpose of this early exploratory study was to attempt to determine the validity of three well known instruments, the Brigance K & 1 Screen for Kindergarten (Brigance, 1987), the Fluharty Preschool Speech and Language Screening Test (Fluharty, 1978), Kaufman's Short Form of the McCarthy Scales of Children's Abilities (Kaufman, 1977), and informal teacher ratings, as predictors of academic achievement in kindergarten, as measured by the Brigance K & 1 Screen for First Grade and the Metropolitan Readiness Test. Correlation coefficients were computed to reveal the predictive validity of each screening test employed. Thirty-nine children enrolled in kindergarten participated in the study. The results of this study show that there is some support provided for using the Brigance K & 1 Screen for Kindergarten, Kaufman's Short Form of the McCarthy Scales of Children's Abilities, and informal teacher ratings. No support was provided for using the Fluharty Preschool Speech and Language Screening Test. Although many of the correlations obtained were statistically significant, most correlations were relatively low. The results of this study would have been more meaningful if the sample had been greater than 39 subjects.

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