Date of Award

7-24-2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)

Department

Educational and School Psychology

First Advisor

Timothy J. Runge, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Joseph F. Kovaleski, D.Ed.

Third Advisor

Mark J. Staszkiewicz, Ed.D.

Fourth Advisor

Lynanne Black, Ph.D.

Abstract

The researcher investigated the predictive strength of the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills, Next Edition (DIBELS Next) Oral Reading Fluency (ORF) assessment to the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test, Third Edition (WIAT-III) ORF and Reading Comprehension subtests. The sample consisted of 75 second through fifth grade students who participated in a special education eligibility evaluation. Archival data included teacher-collected DIBELS Next ORF Words Correct (WC) and Accuracy Percentage scores and school psychologist-collected WIAT-III ORF Rate, ORF Accuracy, Reading Comprehension subtest scores. Analysis of potential sex differences across all dependent variables revealed comparable performance between males and females. Next, the researcher analyzed the predictive strength of the DIBELS Next ORF scores for the WIAT-III ORF and Reading Comprehension scores aggregated and disaggregated by grade. Potential predictive magnitude differences across grades were also examined. Results suggested that the DIBELS Next ORF WC and Accuracy Percentage scores predicted the WIAT-III ORF Rate; however, only the DIBELS Next ORF WC scores significantly predicted the WIAT-III ORF Accuracy Percentage and Reading Comprehension when data from all grades were aggregated. Additionally, the DIBELS Next ORF WC scores predicted the WIAT-III ORF Rate scores at the second, third, and fourth grades with the strongest correlations observed at the second and fourth grade level. The DIBELS Next ORF Accuracy Percentage scores predicted the WIAT-III ORF Accuracy scores at the second level grade. DIBELS Next ORF WC predicted the WIAT-III Accuracy Percentage scores at the third and fourth grades with no significant correlation strength differences between grades. The DIBELS Next ORF WC predicted the WIAT-III Reading Comprehension scores at the second grade and the DIBELS Next ORF Accuracy Percentage predicted the WIAT-III Reading Comprehension scores at the fourth grade with no significant correlation strength differences between grades. Despite the noted limitations in the current study, the results suggest that practitioners may want to be more selective when exclusively using the DIBELS Next ORF to make high-stakes decisions such as a referral for a special education eligibility evaluation and/or identification of an educational disability.

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