August 10, 2022

Questions & Answers

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We would love to hear from you! Please fill out this form and we will review your question and if it's a fit we will post it in our Q&A category.

Calculating RoI for non-CBM

We’re starting this Q&A section with a great question submitted by Jen on 2011/07/15 at 2:57 pm as a comment on the following post:

I am in charge of RtI for our district and this year we are going from use of AIMSWeb, which made this simple, to use of DRA and Fountes and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment System. These systems, unlike AIMSWeb, only offer guided reading levels, but will not be helpful in progress monitoring more frequently unless we can determine a productive rate of improvement. We are looking to have our students gain 1.5 years in 1.0 year. Any thoughts on how we can create a formula for this for teachers to use so they aren’t just guessing. DRA and F& P by the way do not go by 1 level at a time but more like 2, 4, 6 and they are not the same. I was thinking to look at 1.5 years ahead of whereever the student is currently at and expect that for the entire year and then break that down by the # of weeks in the year to determine where the student should be at each week.

Your thoughts?

We also wanted to figure out a way to calculate in the strategies expected at those levels, such as this book level, but also this many (2) strategies every 2 weeks.

Again, your thoughts?

Thank SO much!
Glad I found this site!


NASP Convention 2012

Learning to Graph Rate of Improvement

Learning to Graph Rate of Improvement

After a successful set of workshops at the 2011 Annual Convention for the National Association of School Psychologists, we were just notified that we are invited back to conduct a workshop during next year’s convention to be held in Philadelphia, PA in February!

Participants will be able to choose one or both workshops. The morning session will be an introductory workshop for SLD identification using RTI by Dr. Joe Kovaleski. The second workshop is for advanced applications of calculating and interpreting rate of improvement by Caitlin Flinn and Andy McCrea (bring your laptops for this one it’s a hands on experience).

We are excited that the conference will be local for us! Visit for forthcoming registration information.


Defining Rate of Improvement

If you were to open your old graduate level stats book, you might not find the phrase “rate of improvement,” in the index, but you would find some text on “slope.” Essentially, they are synonymous terms, one being slightly more angled toward the positive.

In algebraic terms, rate of improvement can be defined as the vertical change (y-axis) over the horizontal change (x-axis). More simply put, slope is the rise over run. Or the steepness of a line. The key word here is line. In order to calculate slope, one must first have a line. Once a line is determined, the formula for calculating slope is:

m = (y2 – y1) / (x2 – x1)

m = slope
(x1, y1) = one point on the line
(x2, y2) = a second point on the line

Typically, when we plot student data, we end up looking at data points on a graph. Some commercially available systems provide a general line as a guide approximating where the student’s data points should fall. With just this information, there is no line from which we could calculate an accurate slope. Therefore, we have to create that line! It is the position of the authors of this site that linear regression is the best method for calculating an accurate line to determine rate of improvement.


NASP Workshops = Success!

Thursday February 24, 2011

With over 200 people in attendance between the two workshops in San Fransisco, Joe Kovaleski, D.Ed. and Caitlin Flinn, M.Ed. shared knowledge of the using response to intervention for special education eligibility. Four criteria of eligibility were discussed, the second focusing specifically on rate of improvement. Participants learned the definition of rate of improvement, reviewed multiple methods for graphing and calculation, and experienced step-by-step instructions for graphing and calculation of rate of improvement based on reviews of research. The new website was announced for the first time to an audience who stated they were very happy to have a helpful resource!



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Rate of Improvement – How To