Diagnostic Accuracy of Kindergarten Reading Screening with Skill/Will Assessment

Diagnostic Accuracy of Kindergarten Reading Screening with Skill/Will Assessment

First Author: Breda O'Keeffe -- University of Utah
Additional authors/chairs: 
Kristen Stokes Fuoco; Hannah Wright; Andrew Potts
Keywords: Reading Assessment, Screening, Kindergarten, Motivation, At Risk Students
Abstract / Summary: 

This study evaluated the effects of a simple “skill/will” procedure (aka, “can’t do/won’t do”) following Kindergarten reading screening measures on the diagnostic accuracy of the measures. Early reading screening measures in Kindergarten have lower diagnostic accuracy than measures used with older students and connected text. Two-stage, gated screening processes and progress monitoring during intervention have shown promise in reducing the number of students identified as “false positives” for Tier 2 supports. We evaluated whether progress monitoring and/or adding a goal/reward procedure improved the diagnostic accuracy of Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS Next edition).

We included 240 kindergarten students at all levels (well below, below, at or above benchmark) on the middle of year (MOY) benchmark for NWF and PSF. Students who scored well below or below benchmark (n = 128) were randomly assigned to one of three groups: (a) no progress monitoring (n = 42), (b) progress monitoring only (n = 42); or (c) goal/reward with progress monitoring (n = 44). All students, including those above benchmark (n = 112), were assessed with outcome measures: additional NWF and PSF probes, Woodcock Reading Mastery Test Letter Identification subtest, and the Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing Phonemic Awareness composite.

Group membership for progress monitoring was not found to significantly contribute classification accuracy. In addition, specificity increased, but this improvement came at the expense of decreased sensitivity.

Further research is needed to determine practical approaches to increasing the diagnostic accuracy of Kindergarten reading screening assessments.