A comparison of dynamic assessment and progress monitoring in the prediction of reading achievement for students in kindergarten and first grade
SPECIAL EDUCATION A COMPARISON OF DYNAMIC ASSESSMENT AND PROGRESS MONITORING IN THE PREDICTION OF READING ACHIEVEMENT FOR STUDENTS IN KINDERGARTEN AND FIRST GRADE ERIN CAFFREY Dissertation under the direction of Professor Douglas Fuchs The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of dynamic assessment (DA) and progress monitoring in the prediction of reading achievement for students in kindergarten and first grade. A total of 120 participants (25 kindergarten and 95 first grade) were administered traditional pre-reading and reading measures and DA in November and December. From December to April, weekly progress monitoring data was collected using curriculum-based measurement (CBM). Traditional reading-related measures and DA were administered again in April and May. Three variables from the fall assessment were used to predict four outcome variables from the spring assessment. Predictor variables included Fall DA, CBM intercept at week #1 (CBM intercept), and CBM slope over 5 weeks (CBM slope). Outcome variables included the Wide-Range Achievement Test Reading subtest (WRAT Reading), Woodcock Reading Mastery Test-Revised Word Attack subtest (Word Attack), oral reading fluency (fluency), and the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test Spelling subtest (WIAT Spelling). Multiple regression analysis was used to determine significant predictors of Spring reading achievement. A commonality analysis was used to establish the unique contribution of each predictor. For the kindergarten sample, the CBM intercept explained the most significant unique variance on all four spring reading measures. Fall DA explained significant unique variance in WRAT Reading and Word Attack. CBM slope explained significant unique variance in fluency. For the first grade sample, Fall DA, CBM intercept, and CBM slope explained statistically significant unique variance on all four Spring reading measures. Fall DA explained the most unique variance on WRAT Reading and Word Attack. CBM intercept and CBM slope explained the most unique variance in fluency. Fall DA and CBM intercept explained the most unique variance in WIAT Spelling. Both DA and progress monitoring (as measured by CBM intercept and CBM slope) were useful in the prediction of Spring reading achievement. The relative utility of DA and progress monitoring was dependent on the specific reading skills predicted.