• Using Growth Rate of Reading Fluency to Predict Performance on Statewide Achievement Tests

      Hinkle, Rachelle Whittaker (2011-09-20)
      Federal legislation has prescribed the increased use of statewide achievement tests as the culmination of a student’s knowledge and ability at the end of a grade level; however, schools need to be able to predict those who are at-risk of performing poorly on these high-stakes tests. Three studies served to identify a means of predicting statewide achievement test scores in either third or eighth grade based on CBM reading scores and rates of improvement at first, second, and third grades or third, fourth, and fifth grades using readily available statistical procedures. One-half of the third-grade data was used in Study 1, while the prediction equation generated in Study 1 was validated on the second half in Study 2. The results of Study 1 indicated that, of the sample of over 1,200 third-grade students who took the third-grade statewide achievement test, the second- and third-grade spring CBM reading scores explained the highest amount of variability in third-grade reading scores; however, reading rate of improvement was also significant. The prediction equation from Study 1 was cross-validated in Study 2 on over 1,200 third-grade students, which indicated that there was more than 95 percent concordance that those who were predicted to pass the third-grade statewide test did pass. However, when using the second-grade spring cut score of 90 words read correctly per minute, the accuracy of prediction was diminished. In Study 3, using nearly 250 eighth-grade students’ scores, reading fluency scores in third, fourth and fifth grades explained approximately 30 percent of statewide achievement test scores; however, rate of improvement was not significant in any of the grades.