About easyCBM Measures
All our measures are designed to be appropriate for students in the middle of the year at their particular grade level. Because of this, the measures may seem too difficult for students taking tests at the beginning of the school year. As the year progresses, that will level out for the students and you should see progress in their knowledge and skill base.
All of the measures in a given skill set (skill sets are: Letter Names, Phoneme Segmenting, Letter Sounds, Word Reading Fluency, Passage Reading Fluency, Proficient Reading, and each of the three math sections) are designed to be of equivalent difficulty, so if a student does poorly on one test, and then you provide targeted instruction to help him/her improve their skills, you can have them take a different form of the same test type and use that score to see if there has been improvement.
The first number of a measure indicates the grade. The second number is an arbitrary number and indicates nothing more than a way to distinguish one measure from another. The numbering of the assessments does not represent the order in which to administer them or their degree of difficulty, it's just a way to keep track of the tests. For ease of use, we recommend beginning with form 1 and then working your way up from there as the weeks pass. It's simply easier to remember what number comes next if you work your way up in numerical order.
For reading, the skill sets stair-step up in difficulty beginning with the fundamentals of reading: Letter Names, Phoneme Segmenting, Letter Sounds, and progressing up to the more difficult skills of Word Reading Fluency, Passage Reading Fluency, and the hardest of all, Proficient Reading.
For math, the skill sets do not stair-step up in difficulty, rather they align with set math focal point standards for each grade level. So one section of math skills will concentrate on a particular focal point, the second focal point, and the last one on the third focal point. One skill set here is not necessarily more difficult a concept than the other, just designed to test set focal point standards.
The questions where no words are given are written that way intentionally, as part of the system’s incorporation of Universal Design for Assessment (UDA). In each case, sufficient information is given by the use of the mathematical symbols and the answer options from which students have to choose that students should be able to interpret what is being asked. One of the guiding principles of the design used in constructing the tests was to eliminate words that were not essential; this design feature helps reduce the risk that the scores of students with reading disabilities and English learners will be artificially deflated as a result of misunderstanding the words.
Students access this feature when they login online and take their assigned test. Once a student has accessed their math test, the first screen they are directed to assists them in enabling the sound/read-aloud feature. After conducting a sound test, this feature will be enabled for a student.
The easyCBM program also has Spanish measures which are part of the Deluxe upgrade. For math, there are Spanish translations and read aloud items for all grades. The Spanish measures were developed specifically to be appropriate for assessing students receiving literacy instruction in Spanish and are authentic Spanish literacy measures rather than translations of English measures. They represent unique measures developed and edited specifically by native Spanish speakers.
The easyCBM Spanish language measures (with the exception of the Rapid Automatic Naming (RAN) measures are not simply translations of the easyCBM English language measures, but rather tested a variety of Spanish language early literacy measure types to determine which would be the most predictive of later reading proficiency and found that -- unlike in English language measures -- Letter Names, Letter Sounds, and Phoneme Segmenting did not predict later reading. However, Syllable Sounds and Syllable Segmenting DID predict later reading (as did Spanish Word and Sentence Reading fluency). For the upper grades, we offer a Spanish language vocabulary assessment which -- by design -- is a test of students' reading comprehension as well as their vocabulary knowledge.
For reading, the measures available on easyCBM are as follows:
Our math tests offer both English and Spanish language, (with both English and Spanish audio read-aloud of all math items that require reading). The Spanish language measures are not included on the free Teacher Lite Edition simply because they were developed several years after the grant funding that underwrote the cost of developing that version of easyCBM ended. Although we applied for a number of grants to allow us to expand the system to include Spanish language assessments, no federal funds were ever granted for that purpose. Because we believed strongly that it was important to provide Spanish language assessments, we personally (as in from personal bank accounts, not university, state, or federal funds) underwrote the cost of developing and piloting the Spanish language measures. We're excited to be able to offer them to all easyCBM users with a Teacher Deluxe or District account and always appreciate it when they are used.
These measures are components of both the Benchmark and Progress Monitoring assessments. Each of the Spanish literacy measure types includes three Benchmark and ten progress-monitoring forms for kindergarten through grade 8. The specific test types offered are based on three years of research at the University of Oregon to identify and develop CBMs specifically addressing the ways in which Spanish literacy develops.