Comparison of Selected Benchmark Testing Methodologies as Predictors of Virginia Standards of Learning Test Scores

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Virginia Tech


This study examined how Math-Curriculum Based Measurement (M-CBM) benchmark assessment scores predict fifth grade math Standards of Learning (SOL) assessment scores.  Three school districts participated in the study by providing student data on math benchmark assessments and fifth grade math SOL assessment scores. Scores were organized and analyzed to determine the level of prediction between the two data sets. The results of the study indicated that M-CBM benchmark assessments were good predictors of fifth grade math SOL assessment scores.

A second purpose of the study was to measure the differences in the capacity of three different M-CBM benchmark assessments in predicting fifth grade math SOL assessment scores. The three school districts used M-CBM benchmark assessments that varied in the method of creation and the type (commercial, teacher created, released test item) to develop the assessments. The findings show the M-CBM benchmark assessments created by teachers were better predictors of student scores on the fifth grade math SOL assessment followed by released test items and the commercially developed assessments.

The third goal of the research study was to determine if there were differences in costs associated with three different M-CBM benchmark assessments. The reported costs for each of the three assessment types were analyzed but the gross cost per student did not accurately reflect the total costs involved in creating, operating, and/or maintaining the M-CBM benchmark assessment systems in any of the three districts.

A literature review identified contributions in the field in the areas of assessment, Curriculum Based Measurement (CBM), and predicting student performance. The research design was quantitative and the school district data collected was over the 2009-2010 school year.  Recommendation for future research was to focus on the implementation methods and utilization of M-CBM benchmark assessments by teachers to modify instruction. Possible research on how the benchmark data can be utilized or converted into a practical classroom predictor of SOL assessment outcomes was recommended also.



Predictors, Academic achievement, Benchmark Assessments, Curriculum Based Measures, Virginia Standards of Learning