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Curricula-Based Measurement and Formal Assessment Report (Assessment)

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Updated: May 17th, 2021

Introduction-comparison of CBM to formal assessment

Assessment in schools is defined as the process of collecting information about the performance of students in specific areas of study. It is important as it helps educators to know what needs to be taught and how it should be taught. There are several methods of assessing students. However, this paper focuses on Curricula-based measurement (CBM) and formal assessment. CBM is a method of assessing students to monitor how they are progressing in basic learning skills like reading, writing, and mathematics. In CBM assessment, students are required to accomplish tasks within a specified time, normally 5 minutes. The method is simple, fast, and direct and can be executed without necessarily interfering with class sessions.

It is different from formal assessment, which classically means using examinations involving standardized administration and has standards and official interpretive method. Standardized examinations and/or end chapter assessments are clear examples of formal assessments. Formal assessments, also known as standardized measures, have explicit correct or incorrect answers based on certain preset principles and have previously been used on other learners. The data is statistically calculated and presented with tallies like stanines, percentiles, or regular scores most frequently used. This is a case study of a student’s formal assessment. It also incorporates CBM assessment in math, reading, and writing. The name of the student is taken arbitrarily for the purposes of the case study.

Student information Background and psychological report

Duncan is a nine-year-old schoolboy at Hillcrest Elementary school. Presently, he is in the second grade, which is considered a suitable grade level for a nine-year-old child in this school. Duncan is from the Hispano/Latino ethnic group and can speak English and Spanish. He speaks English most of the time, though; they speak Spanish at home in their family. Duncan undergoes a normal class routine and also gets extra reading coaching from an assistant instructor twice every week.

His class instructor gives instructions exclusively in English. The assistant instructor works with Duncan to improve his math, writing, and reading skills. There is no other service he receives from Hillcrest. Information obtained from his files and discussions with his instructor suggests that Duncan has no serious disability or illness history. He is healthy and lively. Most recently, he performed well in hearing and vision tests.

However, since he joined Hillcrest school, Duncan has struggled educationally, as indicated by the low marks he got in-class assignments, examinations, and progress reports. This shows that he could be having mild disabilities. He relocated to Hillcrest in the course of the semester. Before joining Hillcrest, Duncan had studied at different schools for 1st grade and many months in the 2nd grade. At his present school, several attempts have been made by educators to assist him. However, none of the interventions have helped him much since he continues to get grades Cs, Ds, and Fs.

A psychological test was carried out because his parents felt that he could be having a disability. The tests included sociological, cognitive, and academic. Results indicated that Duncan has a mild disability. Even though he did not experience anxiety most of the time, his math, reading, and writing skills fell below average. He shows good adaptive skills. Psychologist report recommends more assessments to determine specific areas in math, reading, and writing where he has challenges. In addition, the report recommended more practices in areas where he experiences difficulties.

Formal assessment

A formal assessment was administered to Duncan to determine his academic performance and to identify his special needs. Even though there are several methods of formal assessment, standardized tests were selected since they are very practical. Besides, administration of standardized tests takes less time and is very easy. In this assessment, a set of questions in math, reading, and writing was administered to the student. The questions are standard tests used in the U.S. Math questions were as follows:

Question 1: Mr. Mark’s class collected two hundred four tins from recycling while Ms. Christine’s class gathered one hundred three tins. Which expression can be used to determine how many more tins Mr. Mark’s class gathered than Christine’s class?

Question 1

Question 2: John had thirteen coins. He found ten more coins. How many coins did he have altogether?

Question 2

Question 3: What number should be put in the box to complete the expression?

Question 3

Question 4: What fraction of the rectangle is shaded?

Question 4

Question 5: Ben had 10 oranges. He divided the oranges among his two friends. How many oranges did each get?

Question 5

The student was required to complete the set of questions within ten minutes. At the end of ten minutes, the results were as shown below:

Question Correct answer Response
1 B C
2 A D
3 B B
4 D A
5 C B

The table of results shows that Duncan got only one answer correct. Even though the questions are basic elementary math, the student could not get all questions right.

A reading test was also administered to the student to find out his reading skills. A set of five words were given to the student to read out loud. Letter C (correct) was placed before any word read correctly and W (wrong) placed on the wrong, incorrect reading. The five words are as shown below:

  1. Bicycle
  2. Encyclopedia
  3. Blueberries
  4. Seashore
  5. Confusion

The words were to be read within five minutes. At the end of five minutes, the test results were as shown below:

Word Right/Wrong
  1. Bicycle
  1. Encyclopedia
  1. Blueberries
  1. Seashore
  1. Confusion

The results in the table indicate that Duncan got two answers correct. Statistics indicate that 80% of grade 2 students get 90% of the answers right in this test.

Writing assessment was also administered in a similar manner. The assessment was used to evaluate the knowledge and skills required of students at this grade. The assessment was focused on getting correct spelling, punctuations, and Capitalization. The same words used in the reading assessment were read out loud, and the student was given a chance to write after each word. The results were as indicated in the table below:

Word Student wrote:
  1. Bicycle
  1. Encyclopedia
  1. Blueberries
  1. Seashore
  1. Confusion

The results show that Duncan was able to write two words correctly. Even though he had a challenge in getting correct spellings, capitalization was perfect.

All test results from formal assessment indicate that Duncan is below average. However, formal assessments do not show specific areas where the student needs to be assisted.

CBM in math, reading, and writing

In CBM math, Duncan was given three minutes to answer sets of basic mathematical questions in specific areas. The assessment majorly focused on addition problems to find out if the student had challenges in this area of math. There were six math questions as shown below:

  • Question 1: Add: 123 + 142 =
  • Question 2: Mike had ten coins, and mark added him 6 more coins. How many coins did he have altogether?
  • Question 3: Perform the following operation: 20 + 21 + 56 =
  • Question 4: Fill in the missing number 90 + = 100
  • Question 5: Add: 78 + 45 =
  • Question 6: How many circles are there altogether?

Reading assessment was carried out to examine the reading fluency of the student. The assessor sat with the student and asked him to read aloud two different passages in a book for 2 minutes. As the student read the passages, the assessor noted errors made. The assessor then calculated words read correctly and made comparisons with the total number of words in the two passages. In the reading assessment, the assessor prepared a composition sheet with a started story sentence. Duncan was required to think about a story and write it within five minutes. The writing was assessed based on correct spellings, punctuations, and grammar.

The total number of correct words was compared to incorrect words. The sets of these assessments were administered at the end of every week for three months to monitor the progress of the student. The results for math, reading, and writing were as analyzed below.

Result analysis

The table below shows the percentage score in math, reading, and writing.

Week 1 32 28 35
Week 2 35 33 29
Week 3 27 34 31
Week 4 28 36 32
Week 5 34 35 30
Week 6 37 33 34
Week 7 40 37 35
Week 8 42 41 37
Week 9 43 45 39
Week 10 43 46 44
Week 11 45 49 47
Week 12 48 50 48
Average 37.9 38.9 36.8

CBM results in math, reading, and writing indicate that the academic performance of Duncan is below average. In all three areas of education, the score is below 50%. The average score in all the assessments is 37.9%, 38.9%, and 36.8% in math, reading, and writing, respectively. However, the student showed a gradual improvement in his scores. This could be due to the right interventions being given by instructors. Graphical representation of student progress is as shown below:

Graphical representation of % Math score
Graphical representation of % Math score.
Graphical representation of % reading score.
Graphical representation of % reading score.
Graphical representation of % writing score.
Graphical representation of % writing score.

Report to IEP

Duncan is a student with mild learning disabilities. Both formal and CBM assessments indicate that his academic performance is below average. However, monitoring his performance over three months shows that he can improve when given appropriate interventions. This would require specialized education, particularly under the instruction of a close instructor. Also, the student needs continuous monitoring to ascertain his progress.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Curricula-Based Measurement and Formal Assessment'. 17 May.

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