Mapping the Development of Early Reading Skills With Star Early Literacy

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This paper outlines the development process for the Star early Literacy computer-adaptive diagnostic assessment and a literacy skill-mapping model. Star early Literacy was developed in response to the need for an easily administered, inexpensive early literacy assessment tool that provides immediate feedback on a students literacy ability. During development of Star early Literacy, a collateral application became apparent: mapping the development of literacy skills. Using the data from the calibration study and applying item response theory (IRT), literacy skills development for each domain and skill set can be mapped on a Rasch ability scale. Similarly, test characteristic curves showing the relationship between underlying ability and expected proficiency can be created. the results show that the onset of proficiency for each of the content domains and skill sets varies considerably with Rasch ability. This information can be used to empirically analyze the onset, rate of development, point of maturation, and sequence of development of literacy skills relative to other skills, age, or school grade.

AUTHORS: James R. McBride, PhD and Steven Tardrew.

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