DEVELOPMENT OF SPANISH CBM-R MEASURES
Curriculum Based Measurement (CBM) is a common assessment tool used throughout the United States, particularly at the elementary (primary) grades. Curriculum Based Measurement of Reading (CBM-R) has a history of strong support as a tool for both screening and progress monitoring and is strongly correlated with students’ performance on standardized measures of reading comprehension. Using this simple and easy tool for screening purposes allows teachers and reading specialists to determine which students should be given extra support in the classroom. Analyzing graphs of student growth and/or decline when using CBM-R for progress monitoring provides information about whether interventions in place are effective or ineffective.
Due to the presence of a large Spanish-speaking population in the United States that continues to grow, many school districts have sought out equivalent measures in Spanish in order to best serve all of their students. However, many CBM-R tools in Spanish are translations of developed English measures rather than being developed explicitly for Spanish-speaking students from a theoretical, empirical, or expert opinion basis. As a result of this translation process, Spanish probes used in CBM-R may provide an inappropriate level of difficulty for students. For example, the relatively simple word “star” in English is translated to the more complex “estrella” in Spanish. Therefore, the translation of a CBM-R passage about a star written to target students at the 1st grade reading level in English may not be appropriate for Spanish-speaking students at the 1st grade reading level.
The idea that a change in student performance is due to characteristics of the passage rather than student growth or decline is an important factor to take into consideration when using CBM-R passages, and therefore should also be taken into account when constructing passages. It is desirable to create passages that are highly standardized in order to minimize error in measuring student growth. The less variability found across passages when read by the same student (at one point in time), the more confident educators and researchers can be that changes in performance across time are due to changes within the child and not due to characteristics of the passage.
In order to attain English passages that were as standardized as possible, some researchers have instituted strict guidelines regarding story structure, allowable word structures, acceptable proper nouns, sentence length, and paragraph length, among other restrictions. Therefore, when approaching the development of CBM-R passages in Spanish, we began with a foundation of strict guidelines in English but then incorporated Spanish-specific information such as the relative “wordiness” of Spanish as compared to English, hierarchies of Spanish word structure difficulty, and expert opinion of native Spanish speaking teachers who are familiar with the developmental ages in question.
This poster session will introduce participants to conventions developed for the creation of unique CBM-R passages in Spanish, constructed by native Spanish speakers and designed for the assessment of Spanish-speaking individuals.