Universal screening for identifying students at risk for future reading problems is important, but inaccurate and costly approaches are not worth investing in. Paly and colleagues recently conducted a retrospective research project to analyze four approaches to reading risk screening in terms of their accuracy and costs, including:
- prior-year state test (STAAR Reading)
- aimswebPlus: a web-based assessment suite which designed for screening and progress monitoring in reading and math for PreK-12 students
- multiple-gate model: prior-year STAAR was used in the first screening and aimswebPlus was administered as additional screening for a subgroup of students, who scored below a cut-point on first universal screen
- multivariate model: prior-year STAAR and aimswebPlus tests results were combined in multivariate analyses
Using data from Grades 4-8 students (n = 19,417) in a mid-size urban district in Texas, the researchers examined classification accuracy and the cost-effectiveness relation of the four approaches. The results suggest that aimswebPlus is the most costly and the least accurate, while the state achievement test data is sufficient for accurately screening reading risk. This study provides guidance for educational decisionmakers, such as school administrators, that screening measures should be carefully analyzed before being adopted to make sure that funds and time are used effectively and efficiently.
Source: Paly, B. J., Klingbeil, D. A., Clemens, N. H., & Osman, D. J. (2022). A cost-effectiveness analysis of four approaches to universal screening for reading risk in upper elementary and middle school. Journal of School Psychology, 92, 246–264. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsp.2022.03.009