The Relationship Between Screening Measures for Reading and Performance on the End of Year State Assessment in Third Grade



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Reading is a fundamental skill which changes the achievement trajectory of students, particularly in low-income communities. Children who cannot read proficiently by the upper elementary grades are at-risk for a multitude of poor outcomes, and disparities in the literacy performance of students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds continue to be of concern. This study examined the diagnostic accuracy of reading screening measures in predicting the performance of students on the state reading assessment. Analysis of archival data from multiple reading measures across first, second, and third grade were analyzed and compared to students’ State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness performance at the end of Grade 3. The sample (n = 220) included almost 97% students identified as Hispanic, over 90% were eligible for free/reduced-price lunch, and approximately one-half identified as English Language Learners (ELL). The relationships between all screening measures and STAAR were moderate to strong. In general, the measures exhibited poor levels of sensitivity, but adequate specificity (above .70) across grade levels. The Fountas and Pinnell assessment at Grade 1 represented the only measure with acceptable levels for both sensitivity and specificity. Due to poor levels of sensitivity, results suggested that these individual measures were not able to accurately identify at-risk students. In order to assist in the prevention of future failure in reading, continued research on screening involving multiple measures, computer adaptive tests, and measures of vocabulary/language skills are warranted. Future research should also focus on demographically diverse samples, including ELL students.



Screening, RTI, State assessment