Preparing Educators to Use Curriculum-Based Measurement

Authored by: Robin S. Codding

Handbook of Data-Based Decision Making in Education

Print publication date:  October  2008
Online publication date:  April  2010

Print ISBN: 9780415965033
eBook ISBN: 9780203888803
Adobe ISBN: 9781135890841


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Academic assessment is multi-faceted and can be used to make various kinds of decisions including: (a) referral, (b) screening, (c) classification, (d) instructional planning, (e) monitoring student progress, and (f) program evaluation (Salvia & Ysseldyke, 2001). Not all forms of assessment can be used to address each of these decisions; therefore, it is critical the measurement tool used matches the pending instructional decision. Curriculum-based Measurement (CBM) was initially created to fill a gap within academic assessment; specifically to generate a tool that was simple, easy to use, and was an accurate indicator of skill proficiency that could be used to monitor student progress (Deno, 1985; Wayman, Wallace, Wiley, Ticha, & Espin, 2007). The most unique feature of CBM compared to other types of assessment is the sensitivity to small changes in student learning, making these tools particularly effective for that purpose. Perhaps one of the most important research findings is that instructional quality and student achievement increase when teachers use CBM to monitor students’ performance (Fuchs, Fuchs, Hamlett, & Ferguson, 1992). CBM is also fluency based; that is, these measures are intended to evaluate performance within a brief, pre-determined amount of time (Fuchs & Fuchs, 2004). Evidence has shown that CBM is also useful for making decisions related to screening and instructional planning.

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