Technical Adequacy and Cost Benefit of Four Measures of Early Literacy

Multiple schools, NA (city),


DETAILS: Location: Multiple districts in Southern states; Design: Reliability and validity research, single-group; Sample: Grades K-2; Measures: Star Early Literacy, Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS), Texas Primary Reading Inventory (TPRI), Group Reading Assessment and Diagnostic Evaluation (GRADE); Duration: Cross-sectional.

RESULTS: This research investigated the validity of the domain scoring approach to early literacy development. Students in grades K-2 were assessed on Star Early Literacy, a computer-adaptive test of early literacy skills. Using modern item response theory (IRT), items on a common scale were grouped into 41 specific skill sets. Student ability estimates were used to estimate each student's proficiency on the 41 skill sets based on the expected percent correct for each set of items. Students were also measured on the same domains of early literacy, phonemic awareness, phonics, and comprehension by 3 external measures: DIBELS, TPRI, and GRADE. Concurrent validity between the measures was moderate to high, and confirmatory factor analytic studies indicated the domain scores from Star Early Literacy were measuring similar constructs as the external measures. Overall evidence supported the use of domain scoring for making inferences about a student's early literacy skills.

Reference: McBride, J. R., Ysseldyke, J., Milone, M., & Stickney, E. (2010). Technical adequacy and cost benefit of four measures of early literacy. Canadian Journal of School Psychology, 25(2), 189-204.

The journal article is available online.

Also available: Betts, J., & McBride, J. (2007, April). Evidence for the reliability and validity of IRT-based domain scores of early literacy skills. Paper presented at National American Educational Research Association (AERA) National Conference, Chicago, IL.

Email to request a copy of either study from the Renaissance Research Department.

The Education Commission of the States (ECS) has wrtiten a summary of the journal article. The summary is available online.

Publication Date:

Updated: 05/28/2010

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