August 21, 2017

Q&A – Realistic vs. ambitious goals for early literacy skills



Great question from Beth:

I have seen where there is a chart to show what a realistic vs. ambitious goal for Rate of Improvement is for R-CBM or Oral Reading Fluency but is there a chart like that for Letter Naming Fluency or Letter Sound Fluency?  Or can the ROI charts for R-CBM charts be used for other areas of progress monitoring as well??


The majority of research studies that I have come across have been related to determining expected growth for oral reading fluency, most likely because it is the most popular form of CBM.  The study below is the study where the growth charts originated from for digits correct and oral reading fluency.

Fuchs, L. S., Fuchs, D., Hamlett, C. L., Walz, L., & Germann, G. (1993). Formative evaluation of academic progress: How much growth can we expect? School Psychology Review, 22, 27-48.

The idea of realistic and ambitious goal setting is also described in more detail in a chapter of Best Practices for School Psychologist, Volume 5.

Shapiro, E. S. (2008). Best practices in setting progress monitoring goals for academic skill improvement. In A. Thomas and J. Grimes (Eds.), Best practices in school psychology V.  (Vol. 2, pp. 141-157). Bethesda, MD: National Association of School Psychologists.

The amount of growth you can expect from students is dependent on a number of factors such as the intensity, duration, and frequency of the intervention; the skill being measured, and the fidelity with which the intervention is delivered.  You may want to see if the assessment system you are using includes norms for rate of improvement.  If none are provided, then you could calculate the typical ROI for students based on the expected benchmark scores and use that as a comparison.  Remember that students scoring below benchmark would require an ROI that is more than the ROI of their typical peers in order to close the achievement gap.  There are many dissertations to be had in this area! It would be great to have more published, peer reviewed studies that review the progress students typically make with specific skills given specific interventions.


NASP Workshop 2012

Andy McCrea and I are presenting next month in Philadelphia for the National Association of School Psychologists Annual Convention. We are hoping to have an informative and interactive session with our participants. To sign up visit and click on WS36. All participants are strongly encouraged to bring a laptop or tablet with Excel or Numbers!!! Our workshop can be attended as “Part II” to Dr. Joe Kovaleski’s workshop WS31.

Our workshop on Thursday, February 23, 2012, 12:30-3:30PM. Andy and I review the research on interpreting student growth using curriculum-based measurement data, model how to use Excel or Numbers to calculate a rate of improvement statistic, and discuss how student growth fits into the eligibility conversation within an RTI model. Data analysis and graphing will be featured. Participants are strongly encouraged to bring a laptop or tablet computer equipped with Excel or Numbers. This workshop can stand alone or serve as Part II to Dr. Kovaleski’s introductory workshop entitled Determining Eligibility for Special Education in an RTI System: Basic Concepts and Procedures (WS31), Thursday, February 23, 2012, 8:30–11:30 a.m.

Bring a colleague! Hope to see you there!