Date of Award
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Doctor of Education (EdD)
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
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Many adolescents struggle with reading comprehension, despite an emphasis on reading instruction over recent decades. Evidence suggests that informational text is particularly challenging for students. To implement assessments within a multi-tiered framework, schools must have psychometrically adequate tools. Universal screening data can be useful when identifying at-risk students in need of intervention.
Using data of 473 students in Grades 6 through 8 from two Western Maine middle schools, this study examined the relationship between the Northwest Evaluation Association’s Measures of Academic Progress in Reading (NWEA MAP-R) and Maine’s eMPowerME English Language Arts/Literacy (ELA/L) test by Measured Progress. Logistic regression models were statistically significant with MAP-R scores explaining 54.6% and 58.2% of the variance in proficiency on the eMPowerME ELA/L and correctly classifying 83% and 80% of cases for Grades 6-7 and 7-8. MAP-R had the best balance of sensitivity and specificity in Grade 6-7.
Gender, socioeconomic status, and disability status were used to determine if value was added by combining MAP-R scores with student characteristics. The added demographic variables were less robust predictors of reading achievement when combined with MAP-R scores compared to MAP-R scores alone.
This investigation also determined the minimum MAP-R scores needed in spring of Grade 6 and 7 that demonstrated a student was on track to meet proficiency standards on eMPowerME one year later. Both grade-level cohorts MAP-R scores resulted in high AUC values; however, diagnostic accuracy was below the acceptable level recommended for a screener when using NWEA-provided cut-scores. By using locally derived cut-scores, the diagnostic accuracy was improved by maximizing sensitivity and specificity to an acceptable level.
A secondary purpose of this study was to determine whether differences existed between subtests scores and to examine the unique contribution of MAP-R subtests to the eMPowerME. Students performed better on the MAP-R vocabulary acquisition and use (VAU) subtest compared to either the literary or informational text subtests. The VAU subtest, however, had the weakest correlations with eMPowerME. There was not a statistically significant difference between literary and informational text scores. The MAP-R literary text subtest accounted for the highest degree of variance in eMPowerME ELA/L scores.
Smith, Karen G., "Examining the Relationship Between a Universal Screening Measure and a State Reading Assessment" (2019). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 3060.