Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Russo, Natalie


Curriculum Based Measurement, Teacher Judgments, Written Expression

Subject Categories

Education | Psychology


Nearly 75% of students in the United States of America are not meeting grade-level standards in the area of writing (NCES, 2012; Persky et al., 2003), despite this skill impacting students’ performances in other academic areas (Ray et al., 2016), and limiting students’ access to higher education (Addison & McGee, 2010), and opportunities for jobs in the adult workforce (National Commission on Writing, 2005). Because difficulties with early writing skills are associated with later writing skills deficits (Juel, 1988), it is crucial that educators accurately identify students in need of additional support in order to provide them with appropriate instruction. Two common methods for identifying students are through teacher referral and standardized assessments such as Curriculum-Based Measurement-Written Expression (CBM-WE). Although levels of agreement between teacher referral and CBM-WE were examined in the past, this study extended the literature by conducting kappa analyses to investigate levels of agreement in order to take chance into account. In addition, due to differences in students’ performances on national assessments based on gender (Reilly et al., 2019), as well as differences between national and state normative data, levels of agreement were investigated as a function of gender and normative type. Results of this study suggest that levels of agreement may vary based on the CBM-WE scoring metric used and the student’s gender, but no evidence was found to suggest using national or local norms impacted agreement. Furthermore, this study revealed poor levels of agreement for female students with writing skills below the 10th percentile across, suggesting that schools may need to use converging data sources to accurately identify female students in need of support. Limitations, directions for future research, and further implications are also discussed.


Open Access



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