A Cost Analysis of Early Literacy, Reading, and Mathematics Assessments: Star, AIMSweb, DIBELS, and TPRI

Multiple schools, Multiple cities, Alabama (AL), Kansas (KS), Nevada (NV), North Carolina (NC), Ohio (OH), Oklahoma (OK), Pennsylvania (PA), Texas (TX)


DETAILS: Location: AL, TX, OK, KS, NV, NC, OH, and PA; Design: Independent, assessment research; Sample: Staff from 12 schools in 8 states; Measures: Direct costs, opportunity costs.

RESULTS: Christensen Associates conducted a study to determine the true costs associated with widely used early literacy, reading, and mathematics assessments: Star Early Literacy, Star Reading, Star Math, Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS), Wireless Generation mCLASS DIBELS, AIMSweb, and the Texas Primary Reading Inventory (TPRI). The researchers interviewed staff from 12 schools in 8 states to calculate the average costs of using the tests. Two types of costs were measured: direct costs (the price of testing materials, licensing fees, and/or fees for access to scoring and reporting services), and opportunity costs (time to administer, score, and report results; time that could be spent on instruction if testing was not taking place). The results confirmed, both in terms of direct costs and opportunity costs, that Star Early Literacy, Star Reading, and Star Math, computer-adaptive assessments, are much more cost effective than DIBELS, other assessments; ranging from approximately one-half the cost of AIMSweb and about one-sixth the cost of paper TPRI.

AUTHOR: Laurits R. Christensen Associates.

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Publication Date:

Updated: 12/22/2010

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