Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.

Non-UMass Amherst users, please click the view more button below to purchase a copy of this dissertation from Proquest.

(Some titles may also be available free of charge in our Open Access Dissertation Collection, so please check there first.)

The effects of passage -difficulty on CBM progress monitoring outcomes: Stability and accuracy

Theodore James Christ, University of Massachusetts Amherst


Curriculum Based Measurement (CBM) has become an increasingly popular instrument/methodology for reading assessment. In part, its popularity derives from promises of formative assessment (i.e., progress monitoring). However, a review of the literature suggests CBM formative assessment applications may lack the requisite reliability evidence. Furthermore, available research provides support and direction to improve the accuracy and stability of formative assessment outcomes. The primary purpose of this research was to evaluate and compare the effects of a controlled set of reading passages on student performance. Researchers developed a controlled set of Curriculum Like Measurement (CLM) reading passages from a sample of unfamiliar grade-specific reading curriculums. Each grade-specific passage-set was controlled for passage-difficulty using the Spache and Dale-Chall readability formulas. Analysis compared CBM and CLM formative assessment outcomes. A second purpose of this study was to compare short-term (10-week) assessment outcomes with the negatively accelerating developmental trends that have been documented with long-term assessment (i.e., 36-week). Analysis tested for differences in stability of growth-estimates [SE(b)], accuracy of predictions (SEE), and observed growth-rates/slope (b). 99 students in grades second to fifth participated over 10 weeks. Results suggest CLM progress monitoring outcomes are more stable and accurate than CBM. Results did not demonstrate the negatively accelerating curvilinear relationship between grades. Results and implications are discussed.

Subject Area

Psychological tests|Special education|Literacy|Reading instruction

Recommended Citation

Christ, Theodore James, "The effects of passage -difficulty on CBM progress monitoring outcomes: Stability and accuracy" (2002). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI3068546.