Which basic and proficient reading and math measures should we give?
In terms of difficulty, the Basic Math tests (both Benchmark and Progress Monitoring) are designed to be easier than the Proficient Math tests. Similarly, within reading, the Basic Reading Comprehension measures represent the easiest-access comprehension tests, with the Proficient Reading measures designed to be more challenging.
The easyCBM Lite accounts only have Basic Math tests whereas the easyCBM Teacher Deluxe accounts have both Basic and Proficent Math assessments.
The Basic Math tests are aligned closely with the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Focal Point Standards. They are written to be more easily accessible (fewer cognitive demands for processing what is being asked) and to assess a more foundational understanding of math. Thus, they are most appropriate for use with students who are really struggling and are performing below their grade level peers in the area of math.
The Proficient Math tests are aligned to a variety of State and National (CCSS) mathematics standards. They are designed to be more challenging for students, assessing a higher level of mathematics knowledge. The Proficient Math tests may actually be a bit too challenging for students who are performing far below grade level expectations. In these situations, teachers may find it useful to use the Basic Math measures until students make sufficient progress to perform at or above the 40th percentile before switching to the Proficient Math measures for regular progress monitoring.
The Basic Reading assessment is recommended for students performing further below grade level expectations (e.g., < 25th percentile), and takes relatively less time to administer — depending on the grade, Basic Reading should take about 15-20 minutes to administer.If you are considering choosing one passage over another, try reading a passage from each type of assessment. It may help to decide which assessment is more appropriate for a given student.