Measurement Research and Design Team

University of Minnesota

  • Scott McConnell
  • Michael Rodriguez
  • Tracy Bradfield and Alisha Wackerle-Hollman
  • Amber Hays, Amanda Besner, and Braden Schmitt

University of Kansas

  • Judy Carta


  • Kristen Missall, University of Kentucky
  • Cary Roseth, Michigan State University


Goal: To complete a focused series of development and validation studies to produce an assessment system for language and early literacy development that can drive RtI in preschool classrooms

  • Evaluate and improve existing measures
  • Develop and evaluate new measures
  • Produce norms, benchmarks, and other decision rules for all measures
  • Build a usable system and set of efficient procedures
  • Test feasibility and initial efficacy in classrooms

Objectives are as follows:

  • Match measures to functions of assessment
    • Screening and progress monitoring measures
    • General Outcome Measures and Mastery Monitoring Measure
  • Maximize efficiency and feasibility
  • Incorporate psychometric “best practices” in design, evaluation, implementation
  • Build on existing infrastructure, expanding and improving as needed (IGDIs, DIBELS,

Domains of Language and Early Literacy

Assessment for Four-Year Olds

  • Vocabulary
  • Phonological Awareness
  • Print Awareness and Alphabet knowledge
  • Comprehension

Major Functions of Assessment

  1. Screening
    • Identify children in Tier 1 who might benefit from additional intervention – Quarterly assessment of entire class
  2. Diagnostic/prescriptive assessment for Tiers 2 and 3 services
    • Identify children’s domain(s) needing additional intervention
  3. Progress monitoring
    • For students in Tiers 2 and 3 to reveal response to intervention service (Monthly, Weekly)
  4. Fidelity of intervention To address the question “Is it being done?”

Measurement Architecture for Language and Early Literacy

Whole-Class Screening – Quarterly

  • Gate 1 – Initial Screening to identify ~ lower 30%
  • Gate 2 – IGDIs to identify children below 20%ile (Tier 2) and 5%ile (Tier 3)

Tier 2 Progress Monitoring – Weekly or Biweekly

  • Identify children making progress and who need to remain in Tier 2 or Move to Tier 1
  • Identify children not making progress and needing to move to Tier 3

Tier 3 Progress Monitoring – Weekly or Biweekly

  • Identify children making progress and who may move to Tier 2
  • Identify children not making progress and need to remain in Tier 3

Progress Measures within Tiers

  • Close match to curricular content – Mastery Monitoring
  • Assessment of child progress – General Outcomes

Diagnostic Assessment for Intervention Planning

  • Tier 2 – General domain information
  • Tier 3 – Intervention objectives and procedures

Fidelity of Implementation at all tiers

  • Match to evidence-based practices
  • Support for consultation, ongoing intervention improvement

Planned Development Activities – Years 1 and 2

  • Review of available information
  • RTI Models
  • Available research on assessment in four domains
  • Critical review of existing measures to scope measurement improvement & measurement design work
  • Improve existing measures
  • IRT analysis
  • Benchmarks and cut-points
  • Build new measures
  • Replicate and extend dataset