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State of Idaho Bureau of Special Education. R esults- B ased M odel Core Training. Developed by Gerald D. Nunn, Ph.D., NCSP School Psychology Program Idaho State University. Revised July 2002. Results Based Model. Unit 6:.

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State of IdahoBureau of Special Education

Results-Based Model Core Training

Developed by

Gerald D. Nunn, Ph.D., NCSP

School Psychology Program

Idaho State University

Revised July 2002

Results Based Model

Unit 6:

Curriculum-Based Measurement (CBM): Norming and Progress Monitoring in a Results-Based Model

What is CBM?

How is CBM used?







Procedures applied to yourcurriculum (curriculum-based) to “school-based norms” and “monitor individual progress” in performance that are...

  • standardized

  • simple

  • short-duration

  • fluency measures


     spelling,

     written expression,

     mathematics computation.

“Norming” your


“Progress Monitoring”

Student Performance

Two Basic Ways to Use


Qualities of Good Assessment

  • Facilitate improving instruction/intervention

  • Easily administered, scored, interpreted

  • Shouldn’t take us away from working with our students

  • Should “fit” with our general education curriculum, content, what we feel are important outcomes, things for children to learn

Key Ideas about CBM

  • CBM measures are validated for use as dynamic, indicators, of basic skills or DIBS.

  • A principal purpose of CBM is “formative” vs. summative evaluation/assessment.

  • CBM may be used in a collaborative, problem-solving (teams) conext to make data-based decisions about how interventions influence results for students.

Adapted from Shinn, 1998


  • D = Dynamic, indicates sensitivity of differences...

    • Sensitive“between” students, e.g. detects differences between children with reading deficits vs. those who don’t

    • Sensitive “within”, e.g. detects change in performance over time, e.g. progress of students


  • Indicators, probes, changes, getting better or getting worse, staying same?

  • Progress/change/status over time

  • Not the only indicator that could be used or measurement that could be used, doesn’t measure everything, not intended to or need to...

I= Indicator, thermometer, vital signs


Basic Skills in areas of:

  • reading,

  • spelling,

  • mathematics, and

  • written expression

  • Foundation skills,

  • literacy skills

CBM Summative & Formative Evaluation

  • SummativeCBM may be used as a summative assessment, e.g. norming the school, allows long-term comparisons, benchmarks, comparisons.

  • Formative CBM can be used as frequent, ongoing measures over time, allowing for continuous data-based decision-making regarding outcomes of the strategies, interventions, programs we are implementing to improve learning.

Questions that Assessment Needs to Answer to Help Kids

  • What is Sarah doing now (what can she do)?

  • What does Sarah need to do next (want her to do)?

  • Are Sarah’s math skills sufficient for her to succeed in Algebra?

  • Which word attack skills does Bob needs to master?

  • Is current instruction/intervention plan effective in improving Sam’s reading skills?

  • How do Mary’s written language skills compare to her peers?

  • After working with Mary for 8 weeks, what can I say “specifically” about change in her skills/performance?

  • What kids in our school are currently struggling(at-risk) and need help NOW!

  • What is a reasonable annual reading goal for Chris?

  • Into which reading group should Chris be placed?

So, Assessment should help us…

  • Make educational decisions based on their practical importance to kids/families

  • Make teaching/instructional, and curriculum decisions based upon authentic, data-based student performance

  • Target specific academic skills that separate success from failure for the student

  • Use a “functional” measurement system that guides our daily instructional interventions through direct, frequent, brief and relevant measures from the students’ curriculum content.

Why not continue to WISC, SB, WIAT & W-J them?

  • Are summative, not formative measures

  • Have low to no intervention validity or sensitivity

  • Measure differences between rather than progress over time

  • Do not yield information about how or what to teach

  • Cannot be used frequently (practice effects)

  • Cannot be used frequently (time)

  • Do not assess success relative to your curriculum







Ways CBM Performance Data Is Used

Provide school wide, classroom,

program data for decision-making….

Monitor student progress in

relation to teaching interventions

and make data-based changes

Determine students who may need

additional help or enrichment

Set goals based upon your

schools data

Develop small groups

for specialized


Determine if an intervention

is effective




During Intervention

Provide parents with progress

charts relative to goals.









Advantages of Using CBM forStudents...

  • Allows adaptation of teaching & curriculum to meet student’s needs Provides feedback, check on learning goals

  • Allows teachers to set realistic goals

  • Can motivate student achievement

  • Can encourage student responsibility

  • Can provide students with self-monitoring method

Advantages of CBM for Teachers…

  • Provides brief and frequent measures of student progress

  • Focuses upon success relative to your curriculum

  • Helps brainstorm ‘solutions’ or what is “working”

  • Is “data-driven”, uses results to guide their instructional decisions

  • Refines, makes more specific, simplifies goal setting and decision-making

Advantages of CBM for Parents

  • Targets specific indicators of basic skills

  • Is easy to understand

  • Frequent measures of their child’s progress “CBM Report Cards”

  • Common place or understanding to discuss “success” & “progress” with their child

  • Encouragement that action is being taken, and that results are being monitored

3 Big Ideas of CBM….

  • CBM measures are validated for use as “dynamic” indicators of basic skills or DIBS.

  • The principal purpose of CBM is “formative” evaluation vs. summative.

  • CBM can be used more comprehensively in a Problem-Solving Model (RBM) to make a variety of data-based decisions.

Adapted from Shinn, 1998


CBM is uniquely suited for a Results-Based Model (Problem Solving) because...

  • Can be frequently given, and are sensitive to change

  • Makes comparisons relative to learning demands in class, school, district

  • Provides formative feedback at the individual as well as the school/district level

  • Reduces need for some evaluations that are not specifically focused upon “questions” or specific “concerns”

What does Research Say About CBM?

  • Using CBM doesn’t increase special education placement rates

  • CBM differentiates between learning concerns of students (e.g. categories of LD vs. Non LD)

  • CBM are much more sensitive to academic growth than published achievement tests

  • CBM + Problem Solving = Academic Gains (about +.5 to +1 Effect Units)

  • CBM is useful to evalute program effectiveness as measured by change in DIBS

  • CBM is highly correlated with many other measures of achievement, both “standardized” and “informal”

Components of CBM

  • Administration & Scoring of Probes

    • Utilize standardized administration & scoring procedure

  • Finding Normative, Instructional & Monitoring Levels of Student Performance

    • Define behavior, determine baseline, set up graph

  • Goal Setting

    • Write measurable, observable & specific goal

Components of CBM- (Continued)

  • Monitoring

    • Collect and chart data 2-3 times per week

  • Decision Making

    • Utilize decision rules to make necessary changes

  • Instruction

    • Incorporate well defined interventions based on decisions made

Assess students who may need at-risk services, special education, or enrichment activities

Develop small groups for specialized strategies/interventions

Set goals for learning based upon empirical data in your school

Monitor a student’s progress

Determine if an intervention is effective

Assess new students to your school

Task analyze student skills

Provide school wide, classroom, district data regarding achievement, progress, response to initiatives/interventions

Provide parents with regular “report cards” on progress relative to goals/interventions, or to classmates.

Some Ways CBM Data Can Be Used:

Core Testing Strategies of CBM

  • Reading,3, one-minute probes, fluency.

  • Spelling, dictated words, number of correct letter sequences or words spelled correctly

  • Written expression,complete “story starters” for 3 minutes, number of words written, words spelled correctly, or correct word sequences are counted

  • Mathematics,students write answers to addition, subtraction, mixed math, with 2 minute probe, # of digits written.


  • CBM is used most effectively within a context of a Problem Solving Approach to intervention/service delivery

  • CBM and other direct functional measures have the advantage of their reliability, concurrent validity, and treatment validity

  • CBM and other functional measures are sensitive to change, can be repeatedly given, and therefore allow us to modify interventions and strategies without wasting valuable resources and learning for children.

State of IdahoBureau of Special Education

Results-Based Model Core Training

Developed by

Gerald D. Nunn, Ph.D., NCSP

School Psychology Program

Idaho State University

Revised July 2002

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