Predictive Validity of Reading and Mathematics Curriculum-Based Measures on Mathematics Performance at Third Grade
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In the current era of high stakes testing, educators use curriculum-based measures (CBMs) and large-scale benchmark assessments to inform instruction and monitor student performance. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act, The No Child Left Behind Act, and Race to the Top all require annual testing in grades 3 through 8 in mathematics and reading. Therefore, educators need appropriate assessments to make valid inferences about instruction and students' current level of performance as well as risk. Consequently, construct validity is essential for both CBMs and large-scale tests to ensure they appropriately identify students' current level of performance in reading and math, particularly in making inferences about proficiency (Adequate Yearly Progress). This study of third grade students explored the construct validity of a state math test by correlating it with both math and reading CBMs and determining the sensitivity and specificity of the CBM in predicting performance on the state test. Results indicated a positive correlation and predictive relation between both CBM math and reading with the Oregon statewide benchmark assessment in mathematics at third grade. Regression analysis showed the strength of the predictive relation of CBM in the identification of students' current level of performance increased with the addition of CBM reading to the CBM math. A receiver operator characteristics analysis indicated that CBM math and CBM reading (passage reading fluency and vocabulary) consistently predicted students who were on target to meet grade-level benchmarks on the statewide assessment. The study adds to the construct validity research on math and reading CBMs. The results may inform assessment development and accommodations needed to assess math content without the reading construct interfering with the interpretation of the results. In addition, it may be useful for educators seeking to identify students who are "at risk" for making grade level progress in mathematics.