Kindergarten assessments as a predictor for a student's need for intervention

Victoria Ellen Weinketz Hoover

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine if the kindergarten assessment results from the three windows in reading, written communication, and mathematics were a valid predictor of a student's need for intervention up until the conclusion of second grade. Reynolds (1992) suggested that a student's overall school success is reflective of the approach taken early in kindergarten. With the demands of the No Child Left Behind Act (2001), districts have set in place strategies to meet the standard of all students reading on grade level at the conclusion of the third grade. If districts are to rise to the standards set forth by NCLB and to avoid the strict consequences brought on by failing to do so, they must start early in identifying at-risk students (Bishop, 2003). By determining the link between the targeted district's kindergarten assessment and a student's need for intervention, early identification and prevention can begin in kindergarten and extend throughout elementary school with later elementary success in mind. The kindergarten assessment was compared to the results from AIMSweb benchmarking and the Mississippi Curriculum Test Second Edition assessment, semester and final grades in reading, language arts, and mathematics from the first and second grades, and failure status to determine a student's need for intervention. A student's intervention status, whether or not he or she received intervention at any point from kindergarten until the conclusion of second grade, was determined by reviewing cumulative records. Data were analyzed using chi square statistical tests to determine if a significant relationship existed between the kindergarten assessment results and a student's need for intervention by the end of the second grade. Sections of the kindergarten assessment were found to be predictive of a student's need for intervention. Kindergarten teachers completed a survey indicating their beliefs about the predictability of the kindergarten assessment and each component of the instrument in regards to a student's need for intervention. Through further analysis it was determined that teachers were able to conclude which particular sections of the instrument were a predictor of the need for intervention.